Horses from the Japanese island of Hokkaido move close together to keep themselves warm in the winter cold. Photographer Hajime Kimura recently visited the island to see how they live.
A wall of trees separates property in the middle of a farm field.
If ponies aren't meant to be racehorses, they will eventually be slaughtered for food consumption. Kimura tries to show both of these life paths in his "Tracks" photo series.
"Tracks" leaves viewers to consider the distinction between the path of life and that of death: Is one path truly more bright and hopeful, or more dark and helpless, than the other? The decision to shoot in black and white is especially poignant. "This world has color, as you know," Kimura said. "But I want to see this world simpler. I want to see texture beyond the color, and I want you to evoke your imagination."
Horses prepare for a race on a snowy track.
A horse's mane fluttters in the winter wind.
Horses during a summer night in Hokkaido.
"The most emotional moment was when a horse was shot in its forehead with a gun. ... That was a thought-provoking time for me," Kimura said. "I kept staring at the horse changing to meat. I've never seen such a thing before."
Horse tracks are seen on snow inside an empty stable.