'Hidden beauty near the shore' — Photography by Toru Kasuya

Toru Kasuya’s exquisite underwater photographs reveal that even near urban areas, there is a thriving and diverse ecosystem in the sea that most humans never witness. One of Japan’s emerging stars in the field of marine life photography, Kasuya was the recent Grand Prize Winner of the 6th annual Nikkei National Geographic Photo Prize, whose mission is to raise the profile of promising Japanese photographers globally.

Kasuya writes, “I take my photos near populous coasts. Not many residents are aware of the bountiful life under their noses. Even fishermen, who make a living from the sea, are surprised when they look at my photos, saying that they had no idea marine creatures were living this way, as they only see them out of the ocean.”

“Hidden Beauty Near the Shore,” Toru Kasuya’s first solo exhibition in the United States, is on view at Foto Care in New York through June 9.

Photography and captions by Toru Kasuya

See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.

<p>The giant pacific octopus spreads its interbrachial membranes wide when pouncing on its prey or landing on the sea floor, Hakodate Usujiri, Hokkaido, Japan, Dec. 1, 2015 . The soft way it lands resembles a parachute coming down. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya) </p>
Parachute

The giant pacific octopus spreads its interbrachial membranes wide when pouncing on its prey or landing on the sea floor, Hakodate Usujiri, Hokkaido, Japan, Dec. 1, 2015 . The soft way it lands resembles a parachute coming down. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya)

<p>The roe of shiwaikanago, a species of sand lance, is deposited on brown seaweed called akamoku in Hakodate Usujiri, Hokkaido, Japan, May 9, 2013. The gourd-like vesicles and branches of the algae reminded me of some pattern made up of monograms. I took this shot, picturing in my mind how these freshly-deposited eggs were going to grow slowly among the swaying seaweed. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya) </p>
Roe of sand lance

The roe of shiwaikanago, a species of sand lance, is deposited on brown seaweed called akamoku in Hakodate Usujiri, Hokkaido, Japan, May 9, 2013. The gourd-like vesicles and branches of the algae reminded me of some pattern made up of monograms. I took this shot, picturing in my mind how these freshly-deposited eggs were going to grow slowly among the swaying seaweed. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya)

<p>These golden gobies made a discarded bottle on the sea floor their home, Osezaki, Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Nov. 6, 2016. I felt as if the couple came up to greet me at the door. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya) </p>
Blue bottle – golden goby

These golden gobies made a discarded bottle on the sea floor their home, Osezaki, Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Nov. 6, 2016. I felt as if the couple came up to greet me at the door. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya)

<p>Large pectoral fins of the oriental flying gurnardsem remind us of airplane wings in Osezaki, Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, May 31, 2015. The fish glides its way very low over the sea floor. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya) </p>
Gliding

Large pectoral fins of the oriental flying gurnardsem remind us of airplane wings in Osezaki, Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, May 31, 2015. The fish glides its way very low over the sea floor. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya)

<p>It is still winter in Rausu, Shiretoko Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan, March 8, 2017. With a lot of snow remaining, a monotone landscape stretches out. Yet, once you go under the water, there are amazingly colorful kelps and seaweeds. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya) </p>
Gagome kelp

It is still winter in Rausu, Shiretoko Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan, March 8, 2017. With a lot of snow remaining, a monotone landscape stretches out. Yet, once you go under the water, there are amazingly colorful kelps and seaweeds. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya)

<p>The sharp, white fangs are alarming and grotesque, conjuring up the image of a monster in a cave in Shiretoko Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan, Feb. 12, 2015. However, they do not attack us. This one was looking at me with great interest at a very close distance. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya) </p>
Wolffish

The sharp, white fangs are alarming and grotesque, conjuring up the image of a monster in a cave in Shiretoko Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan, Feb. 12, 2015. However, they do not attack us. This one was looking at me with great interest at a very close distance. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya)

<p>A species of tube anemone called murasakihanaginchaku waves its tentacles dynamically and elegantly with the current in Osezaki, Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Dec. 7, 2014. This one must have sensed something unusual; when it pulled in its tentacles and formed a ball shape, it reminded me of a pattern such as a Japanese family crest. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya) </p>
Ribbon art

A species of tube anemone called murasakihanaginchaku waves its tentacles dynamically and elegantly with the current in Osezaki, Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Dec. 7, 2014. This one must have sensed something unusual; when it pulled in its tentacles and formed a ball shape, it reminded me of a pattern such as a Japanese family crest. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya)

<p>The tiniest squid in the world (about two centimeters, or 0.8 inches long), in Hakodate Usujiri, Hokkaido, Japan,July 12, 2017. The eggs deposited by the small body are as beautiful as crystals. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya) </p>
Japanese pygmy cuttlefish spawning

The tiniest squid in the world (about two centimeters, or 0.8 inches long), in Hakodate Usujiri, Hokkaido, Japan,July 12, 2017. The eggs deposited by the small body are as beautiful as crystals. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya)

<p>Golden goby makes a discarded bottle on the sea floor his home. Being so tiny, they are always living under the threat of their natural enemies in Osezaki, Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Sept. 27, 2014. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya) </p>
Golden goby and lionfish

Golden goby makes a discarded bottle on the sea floor his home. Being so tiny, they are always living under the threat of their natural enemies in Osezaki, Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Sept. 27, 2014. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya)

<p>This species of sea slugs called hanaotomeumiushi has impressive horns and fringes in orange in Osezaki, Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Aug. 3, 2014. I accentuated the orange color, causing the details to become inconspicuous, to make it look like some decorative pattern. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya) </p>
Ornate dermatobranchus

This species of sea slugs called hanaotomeumiushi has impressive horns and fringes in orange in Osezaki, Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Aug. 3, 2014. I accentuated the orange color, causing the details to become inconspicuous, to make it look like some decorative pattern. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya)

<p>I started visiting this bay every month in the year before the Great East Japan Earthquake in Shizugawa Bay, Minami Sanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Dec. 12, 2010. I was touched by the way parent fish work hard and doggedly to hatch their eggs. Seven years since the disaster, I hear that the ocean is back to its original state. Although I have not yet had a chance to visit the bay since then, I would very much like to go there and meet those valiant greenlings again. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya) </p>
Greenling brooding eggs

I started visiting this bay every month in the year before the Great East Japan Earthquake in Shizugawa Bay, Minami Sanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Dec. 12, 2010. I was touched by the way parent fish work hard and doggedly to hatch their eggs. Seven years since the disaster, I hear that the ocean is back to its original state. Although I have not yet had a chance to visit the bay since then, I would very much like to go there and meet those valiant greenlings again. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya)

<p>The eggs were about to hatch inOsezaki, Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Dec. 24, 2016. When I peeked inside, my gaze was returned by one of the eggs. I was struck by the presence of the life about to be born. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya) </p>
Ornate ghost pipefish incubating egg

The eggs were about to hatch inOsezaki, Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Dec. 24, 2016. When I peeked inside, my gaze was returned by one of the eggs. I was struck by the presence of the life about to be born. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya)

<p>Wild juvenile scallops try to climb higher on a kelp and attach themselves so as to receive as much nutrition as possible in Hakodate Usujiri, Hokkaido, Japan, Aug. 31, 2017. Kelp is excellent residential property for scallops. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya) </p>
Juvenile scallops

Wild juvenile scallops try to climb higher on a kelp and attach themselves so as to receive as much nutrition as possible in Hakodate Usujiri, Hokkaido, Japan, Aug. 31, 2017. Kelp is excellent residential property for scallops. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya)

<p>Numerous octopuses hatch at once so as to avoid being wiped out by natural enemies in Osezaki, Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Sept. 23, 2015. I wonder if this particular hatchling survives to grow large. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya) </p>
Departure

Numerous octopuses hatch at once so as to avoid being wiped out by natural enemies in Osezaki, Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Sept. 23, 2015. I wonder if this particular hatchling survives to grow large. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya)

<p>As eggs grow, parents become busier in Osezaki, Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Sept. 3, 2017. I was touched by their parenting; they look as if they are talking to each and every egg. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya) </p>
Clark’s anemone fish taking care of eggs — yellowtail clownfish

As eggs grow, parents become busier in Osezaki, Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Sept. 3, 2017. I was touched by their parenting; they look as if they are talking to each and every egg. (Photograph by Toru Kasuya)

What to Read Next