KUMAMOTO - Selfies taken by an 88-year-old Japanese photographer have caused a buzz online, paving a way for her to give talk shows and exhibitions across Japan, reported Japanese daily The Mainichi.
Ms Kimiko Nishimoto, a professional cyclist-turned-amateur photographer, only started photography at age 72. In July, she published her first photo collection titled 'Hitori ja naka yo' (You're not alone). This was after her selfies posted online by an acquaintance enjoyed global popularity, with viewers giving comments such as "They gave me a lift" and "I laughed out loud".
"I'm happy to see people enjoying my selfies," the Kumamoto resident told The Mainichi.
Ms Nishimoto was a beautician before taking up bicycle racing at 22 after being inspired by her younger brother who had become a professional cyclist. After achieving excellent results in many races, she retired as a pro cyclist upon her marriage. She then worked part-time while raising three children.
At a photography course organised by her son 16 years ago, Ms Nishimoto made friends with younger photographers and got immersed in her new hobby. She even set up her own studio at home.
"I will give a try to whatever interests me," the grandmother thought, and began taking her own selfies.
Today, her growing photo collection includes one in which she is sunbathing in a coat hanging from a laundry pole, as well as ones where she poses as a frog or a baby.
In April, her home suffered cracks as a result of the strong earthquakes that hit Kumamoto prefecture, but she was unharmed.
"The quake caused a mess, but it is important to stay positive. If there are people who are let down, I want them to laugh through my photos. I will keep taking pictures that convey the joy of life," she said.