Interview with Ms. Kyoko Harada, Official Photographer for Animal Refuge Kansai (ARK)

Ms. Kyoko Harada, Official Photographer for ARK

 Our AngloINFO Staff was fortunate enough to have an exclusive interview with Ms. Kyoko Harada recently. She is the official photographer for Animal Refuge Kansai (ARK). They have recently released their 2015 Calendar for sale.


How did you first get involved with Animal Refuge Kansai?

I approached Ms. Elizabeth Oliver, ARK Founder because I wanted to help animals in need. I brought a portfolio of my work and asked how I can help ARK. We agreed that I could assist by publishing a photo book or hold a photo exhibition.

What projects do you help ARK with?

Currently, I help ARK by planning and hosting photo exhibitions, creating photo books, calendars and posters/flyers.

What challenges do you experience when taking photos of animals?

Many of the animals in ARK’s care have reasons for being there which range from sad to devastating, but being rescued by ARK is the turning point in their lives. I do not want my photographs to inspire pity – I want people to see the animals’ strong, resilient beauty shine through. My work as a photographer brings me great joy when I can show viewers that, like us, animals are sentient and sensitive beings.

Tell us about your favorite animal photo shoot.

The animals at ARK, especially dogs, are often afraid of the large camera lenses I point in their directions, but with time and patience, that fear disappears and they start to show their true selves. Sometimes a puppy or kitten will do something completely unexpected and fascinating in front of my camera. I am grateful for that special moment the animal lets me capture in a photograph.

Please tell us about your full time photography work.

My main photography work consists of advertising photography, fashion, CD or music magazine, and portfolio design. Please see my website for my personal portfolio >>

Do you enjoy making the annual ARK calendar?

Yes, I enjoy it so much. I regret that the calendar doesn’t always convey or show the hard work that everyone does at ARK.

How do you select the animals to be featured in the ARK calendar?

Basically, I select the photos from all my collection taken over the entire year. We will have a meeting and discuss with a graphic designer and our staff at ARK including Ms. Oliver so we can choose the best ones to be featured in the calendar.

Is the 2015 ARK calendar finished yet?
Yes, the 2015 calendar is on sale already.

Do all the proceeds for the calendar go to ARK?


How can someone get the 2015 ARK calendar?                                                

Anyone can buy it, the calendars are on sale now. They make great gifts and they can be purchased at the venue of upcoming photo exhibitions, adoption events or via our online shopping website which is located here >>

Here are some sample photos from this year’s calendar…so cute!


About ARK:

Animal Refuge Kansai (ARK) is a Japanese registered Non-Profit Organization (NPO). They have rescued thousands of dogs and cats in Tokyo and Osaka. Their facilities include the newly-opened Sasayama Animal Welfare Centre located outside Osaka. And they maintain a very important office in Tokyo as well.

ARK is a non-profit, non-governmental private organization with the aim of forming a network of people who love animals, believe in sharing their lives with them, and who work actively to rescue them from suffering. ARK was established in 1990 and became officially recognized as an NPO (Non-Profit Organization) in September 1999. In 2008, ARK was accepted as an International Associate Member of the RSPCA. 

ARK receives all funding for its activities from the donations and membership fees of the general public. We have approximately 30 staff members and receive support from volunteers who understand our activities. Our staff depends on our many volunteers because ARK is dedicated to not only the care of the animals but also to maintaining our facilities for the animals. We are always in need of Foster parents who are willing to temporarily foster a pet until we can find permanent parents to re-home.

For Further Enquiry:

Website >>

Tokyo ARK >>   TEL: 050 1557 2763 (10:00-19:00)