The Soulful World of Snow Monkeys
Visiting the hot springs where Japan's famous macaques hang out, a photographer shows us we have more in common than we think.
It’s easy to find head shots of Japanese macaques soaking in an alpine hot spring. But I wanted to show these famous “snow monkeys” in a different light—to capture the traits and personalities of the individuals. In doing so, I also hoped to get people to think about the species’ place in culture and conservation.
Japanese macaques live farther north than any other nonhuman primate. The first time I visited Jigokudani Yaen-koen (aka Wild Snow Monkey Park), in 2007, I was struck by how like us they are. Their expressions and behaviors are easy to relate to. In fact, they’re a lot like what I see when I look in the mirror, or at my daughters.
I’ve since gone back eight times,