BOM from Koba GH Mag Cover Shoot

It was a no brainer that BOM, the permanently genki owner of little bar Koba, would be the “face of Hiroshima” on the cover of the first issue of the GetHiroshima Mag back in spring 2014.

You’d think, considering BOM is a consummate performer, that getting what we like to think of now as an iconic shot would be a breeze. In fact, it took a lot of skill on the part Junpei Ishida, who has shot all the cover portraits for the GetHiroshima Mag, a fair amount of warming up, and a little shochu over the course of a Sunday afternoon.

We met up with BOM in front of his bar on a side street just off Namiki-dori in the middle of Hiroshima’s shopping district, he confessed that he was not well, and battling a nasty cold. Frankly, he looked exhausted and we Junpei and I wondered how the shoot (our first working together) would go. We started with some shots in the street in front of outside the entrance to the bar.

Sure, he looked pretty cool, if tired, but his essential BOMness was not on display so we took it inside.

With some Iron Maiden beer.

With, some somewhat little lacklustre, devil horns.

And a “Mr Nice Guy” pose.

After a chuckle…

We tried capturing the atmosphere of Koba.

Time for a drink to loosen up.

And some behind the bar shots and the start of “Hiroshima Star Wars”.

Getting there, but not quite right.

Finally, we got the shot that would make the cover. The C3PBOM lemon eyes stung so bad that Junpei was only able to snap two shots, one of which ended up on the cover.

BOM Cover GetHiroshima Mag

The photos done, it was time to move on to the interview. BOM is as thoughtful as he is playful and we had a great chat.

But, once we’d talked for an hour or so about his mission to bring the world together, one drink at a time, talk moved on to his true love, heavy metal.

Paul Walsh

Paul arrived in Hiroshima "for a few months" back in 1996. He is the co-founder of and loves running in the mountains.