Skinship

Skinship is a Japanese term that describes the skin-to-skin, heart-to-heart relationship between mother and child, or other family members. Through an experience of loving touch, a child learns to care for others.

Skinship is a Japanese term that describes the skin-to-skin, heart-to-heart relationship between mother and child, or other family members. This includes breastfeeding, cuddling, piggyback rides, co-bathing, co-sleeping, even playing together, anything which builds intimacy. Through an experience of loving touch, a child learns to care for others.

Because the concept of skinship was completely natural to me, it was only after I was arrested in New York due to the family snapshots of skinship, did I realize how unique and potentially shocking it could be in other cultural contexts. 

The consequences of the arrest was the deportation from America. This incident prompted me to question about borders not only between countries but also good and bad, right and wrong. The boundaries started blurring.

Back in Japan, I gave birth to my son. Breastfeeding was our best skinship. While breastfeeding, when my son looked at me, it felt as if I were being observed by myself. There was no boundaries between our bodies; a symbiotic union. It was a feeling of oneness or “funi” in Japanese language which means “two but not two”.

Skinship is going to be less visible forms within family before they reach puberty, and will transform to the romantic relationship with a partner. I hold my son closer for him to spread his wings and fly high before long.

© Takako Kido - Feels So Good
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Feels So Good

© Takako Kido - Twiddling
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Twiddling

© Takako Kido - Taiyo made his self-portrait.
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Taiyo made his self-portrait.

© Takako Kido - Sunday Morning Sleeping In
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Sunday Morning Sleeping In

© Takako Kido - Baby Bird
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Baby Bird

© Takako Kido - He Sometimes Wants to Go Back to My Tummy Again
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He Sometimes Wants to Go Back to My Tummy Again

© Takako Kido - My son made this picture.
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My son made this picture.

© Takako Kido - Happy Birthday
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Happy Birthday

© Takako Kido - Two But Not Two
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Two But Not Two

© Takako Kido - Sunburn
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Sunburn

© Takako Kido - Taiyo at 10
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Taiyo at 10

© Takako Kido - My Son and My Mother Watching TV
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My Son and My Mother Watching TV

© Takako Kido - Touch
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Touch

© Takako Kido - Father and Son
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Father and Son

© Takako Kido - Comforter
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Comforter

© Takako Kido - Image from the Skinship photography project
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JumpThis picture is like a reminder for me that my son is going to jump to his own world soon. I have to get ready for that day.

© Takako Kido - Family PortraitAs parents, we think we protect our son. But the truth might be the opposite. He is protecting us.
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Family PortraitAs parents, we think we protect our son. But the truth might be the opposite. He is protecting us.

© Takako Kido - Taiyo at 9
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Taiyo at 9

© Takako Kido - Best friends
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Best friends