Meet Tomoyuki Shioya. The 32 year-old spends his days at a corporate job. In his free time, he enjoys his hobby: Taking photos in those head-in-a-hole boards. To date, he has over two thousand photos of them. They are fantastic.

He’s always on the look out for a new entry in his collection. “I can never tell where I may find one,” Shioya recently told The Japan Times. (Note: I’m a columnist for The Japan Times.) He travels around Tokyo and the rest of Japan, looking for cut-out holes to pose with.


What makes Shioya’s photo so wonderful isn’t just the silly boards, but his deadpan expression.

“People think it’s just a comic foreground and hit the shutter in a carefree manner,” he said. “But I want my photos taken with care.”

His Twitter account—which is truly fantastic—is always filled with his latest head-in-a-hole board pic. So far, he’s shown in his photos in magazines, appeared in newspapers, and is working on a photobook. He even judges a local cut-out board competition in Hokkaido.


But surely, after all these years and all those photos, he must get bored with this hobby?

“There are numerous comic foregrounds in Japan. You can find all kinds of settings and designs,” he said. “I never get tired of them.”

And you know what? Neither do I.

Below, you can see an array of photos from Shioya’s Twitter page. If you like them, do follow him!

[All photos: Tomoyuki Shioya]

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter@Brian_Ashcraft.

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