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Collections: Japanese Photo Library

Japanese Photo Library

Japanese Photo Library is a collection of materials pertaining to photography from Japan, held at AUB Library and supported by the Japan Foundation. It comprises photobooks by well-known photographers such as Daido Moriyama as well as emerging and young photographic artists, including Momo Okabe and Daisuke Yokota. In addition, the collection contains pertinent exhibition catalogues and scholarly texts in the field.

The collection is an influential regional resource, supporting a significant area of research interest for creative practice as well as academic scholarship and curatorial effort. It provides valuable teaching and learning materials for staff and students across AUB and is open and available for the public to view.

Featured eBook



Surrealism and Photography in 1930s Japan : The Impossible Avant-Garde
Jelena Stojkovic


Despite the censorship of dissident material during the decade between the Manchurian Incident of 1931 and the outbreak of the Pacific War in 1941, a number of photographers across Japan produced a versatile body of Surrealist work. In a pioneering study of their practice, Jelena Stojkovic draws on primary sources and extensive archival research and maps out art historical and critical contexts relevant to the apprehension of this rich photographic output, most of which is previously unseen outside of its country of origin. The volume is an essential resource in the fields of Surrealism and Japanese history of art, for researchers and students of historical avant-gardes and photography, as well as forreaders interested in visual culture.

(Access to this ebook will require your AUB email and password)

Welcome Video

Featured Books in the Collection

The History of Japanese Photography


The History of Japanese Photography

Anne Tucker, Kikin Kokusai Kåoryåu & Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 


Written by a team of distinguished Japanese and Western scholars, this book establishes that photography began to play a vital role in Japanese culture soon after its introduction to Japan in the 1850s.

Illustrated essays discuss the medium's evolution and aesthetic shifts in relation to the nation's historical and cultural developments; the interaction of Japanese photographers with Western photographers; the link between photography and other Japanese art forms; and photography as a record and catalyst of change.

Handsomely designed and generously illustrated with beautiful duotone and color images, the book emphasizes not only the unique features of Japanese photography but also the ways it has influenced and been influenced by the country's culture and society.

Kiss in the Dark - Contemporary Japanese Photography


Kiss in the Dark - Contemporary Japanese Photography

Michiko Kasahara & Yasumasa Morimura


Exhibition catalogue of the 2001 Exhibition at MIMOCA and Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography presenting eight photographers who have re-examined, adjusted, deconstructed, and re-interpreted their past activities in the dynamic change of existing value sense.

Including works by Asako NARAHASHI, Go WATANABE, Makiko KOIE, Miyuki ICHIKAWA, Ryoko SUZUKI, Ryudai TAKANO, Shinichiro KOBAYASHI and Tomoko YONEDA.

A Century of Japanese Photography


A Century of Japanese Photography

Japan Photographers Association


Based on the Japanese volume compiled by the Japan Photographers Association and published in 1971 by Heidonsha under the title Nihon Shashin Shi, 1840-1945 [A History of Japanese Photography, 1840-1945]. 

'As the selection in this volume reveals, the photographs taken by Japanese prior to 1945 are diverse and evocative. As a contribution to photography, they are impressive. As a witness to history, they are a compelling complement, supplement, and corrective to the orthodox written record on which most historians rely.' (Dower, 1980)

Chapters include:
One : Dawn 
Two : The Period of Enlightenment  
Three : Commercial Photography 
Four : Records of War, I 
Five : Art Photography 
Six : The Epoch of Development
Seven : The Camera's Eye
Eight : Advertisements and Propaganda
Nine : Records of War II


New Trends in Japanese Photography

Filippo Maggia

The contemporary Japanese scene is remarkably complex, extremely varied, and even enticing. The fact that it is impossible to define one or more trends is extremely positive: there are so many different fields of research, all explored with equal intensity and with an originality that Western photography so often lacks, and this is another characteristic that makes Japanese images unique.

The photographers are able to distance themselves from the weighty legacy of the masters and take up issues related to the changes underway in contemporary society, addressing them in limpid works that can be formally classic yet incisive, raw and essential.

Maiko Haruki, Naoki Ishikawa, Tomoko Kikuchi, Toshiya Murakoshi, Yurie Nagashima, Sohei Nishino, Koji Onaka, Yuki Onodera, Chino Otsuka, Tomoko Sawada, Lieko Shiga, Risaku Suzuki, Ryoko Suzuki, and Chikako Yamashiro belong to a generation of artists who are proceeding in open order and still lack the appropriate support, but are aware of their skills. They are also able to appeal to people’s sensitivity across the board, especially that of the critics and Western public, who seem to have been dulled by redundant aestheticism for years.


Japanese Photography - Desire and Void

Peter Weiermair


Pleasure and asceticism, openness to and aloofness from the world, the personal and the impersonal, these and other related oppositions are the poles of Japanese philosophy and life, of a dialectic tension intensified through the encounter with western culture.

The title Desire and Void underscores this polarity. "Desire" alludes to taboos surrounding sex and the body, issues of increasing importance in present-day Japan. The "void" represents the Buddhist concept of emptiness as timelessness but stands as well for a state of alienation that leaves an indelible mark on Japanese life today.

Represented under the programmatical title Japanese Photography, Desire and Void are twelve contemporary photographic artists selected by curator Peter Weiermair for their extraordinary accomplishments in the medium in recent years - for works unique in both their formal and thematic power and characterized by an impressive command of advanced technologies.

The photographers presented here exemplify the most innovative positions not only in current Japanese art but in the international art scene as well.


Japanese Photography in the Context of Provoke


 Nuria Enguita, Miryam Sas, Yasumi Akihito


Japanese photographers between 1957 and 1972 were the architects of a radical transformation in the photographic language. Bombas Gens' proposal focuses on the photographic renewal that took place in the Japanese country during the postwar period, in parallel to the great economic and cultural changes of this period, marked by social confrontations, mainly against the American heritage of the occupation. 

A rupture caused by Provoke magazine, of which only three issues were published (between 1968 and 1970), and which understood photography as an alternative language. The group of photographers who founded it, in turn, drank from the influence of another group: VIVO. An agency inspired by the American Magnum Photos with the common goal of forging a critical and subjective photography, in opposition to established conventions. 

Including : Ikkō Narahara, Shōmei Tōmatsu, Eikoh Hosoe, Akira Satō and Kikuji Kawada-, active between 1959 and 1961, as well as the Provoke collective (1968- 1970): Yutaka Takanashi, Takuma Nakahira and Daidō Moriyama. Also on display are the work of Hiroshi Hamaya, Takashi Hamaguchi, Toyoko Tokiwa, Nobuyoshi Araki, Tamiko Nishimura, Ishiuchi Miyako, Kōji Enokura, and Michio Harada.


Japanese Photobook 1912 -1980

Manfred Heiting


This book illustrates the development of photography as seen in photo publications in Japan—from the time of influence by European and American pictorialism, the German Bauhaus and Imperial military propaganda, to the complete collapse and destruction of the country in 1945.

Then followed a new beginning: with the unique self-determination of a young generation of photographers and visual artists highlighted by the “Provoke” style as well as protest and war documentation of the late 1950s to the early ’70s, the signature Japanese photobook, as we have come to know it, was born.

With detailed information and illustrations of over 400 photo publications, an introduction by Kaneko Ryuichi and essays by Fujimura Satomi, Duncan Forbes, Manfred Heiting, Mitsuda Yuri, Lizawa Kotaro, Shirayama Mari and Matthew S. Witkovsky, this is the first extensive English-language survey of Japanese photobooks of this period.


Setting Sun - Writings by Japanese Photographers


Yutaka Kanbayashi, Akihiro Hatanaka, Ivan Vartanian

The recent rise in the West of Japanese photography makes Setting Sun a crucial document.

The first anthology of its kind to appear in English, this book collects key texts written from the 1950s to the present by the country's most celebrated and controversial photographers, and illuminates a set of ideas, rules and aesthetics that are specific to Japanese culture, but often little known elsewhere.

Texts included are by Takuma Nakahira and Daido Moriyama, Nobuyoshi Araki and Eikoh Hosoe, Masahisa Fukase, Hiroshi Sugimoto, among others. Each chapter in the book is devoted to a central theme that is particular to Japanese photography, such as the role of nostalgia in a culture that has often sought to jettison its past amid the shadows of a war lost.

The writings vary in form from diary entry to scholarly treatise, but all reflect a clear connection between word and image, one so essential that no comprehensive consideration of Japanese photography can be complete without it. Introduction by Takashi Homma. 


Japan - A Self Portrait - Photographs 1945-1964


Takeuchi Keiichi and Hiraki Osam


The Japanese photographers in this volume are the undiscovered Cartier-Bresson, Brassai, or Doiseneau.

From the 1945 bombing of Japan to the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, photography blossomed in the rapidly evolving country. Documentary photography that captured the horrors of war shifted to focus on the human strength for survival and solidarity. By the mid-1950s, Japan was at a crossroads between tradition and modernization, a contradiction immortalized by the most talented photographers of the time.

Chosen for aesthetic merit and content, these 150 photographs are accompanied by essays from renowned Japanese experts, covering historical, social, and photographic perspectives. Three chapters reflect the different periods of this societal transformation and the evolution of Japanese photography from social realism to a subjective and increasingly personal style.

Photographers: Ken Domon, Hiroshi Hamaya, Tadahiko Hayashi, Eikoh Hosoe, Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Kikuji Kawada, Ihee Kimura, Shigeichi Nagano, Ikko Narahara, Takeyoshi Tanuma, Shomei Tomatsu


Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and '70s 

Ryuichi Kaneko, Ivan Vartanian, Lesley A. Martin and Kyoko Wada


The photobook has been central to the development of Japanese photography, particularly in its postwar phase. To sketch the stages of this boom: 1999's Fotografia Publica included just one Japanese photobook, Kiyoishi Koishi's Early Summer Nerves of 1937, plus two photo magazines from the 1930s, Nippon and Kôga; Andrew Roth's The Book of 101 Books (2001) listed four seminal titles by Hosoe, Kawada, Araki and Moriyama; but it was not until 2004, with the first volume of Martin Parr and Gerry Badger's indispensable The Photobook: A History that it began to be clear what a rich body of work awaited excavation.

Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and 70s may be seen as a culmination of this trajectory and, as such, marks a very exciting moment in photo publishing and in the history of photography. It presents 40 definitive publications from the era, piecing together a previously invisible history from some of the most influential works, as well as from forgotten gems, and situating them against the broader historical and sociological backdrop.



Facts of Life 

Hayward Gallery and The Japan Foundation.


Facts of Life presents the work of 26 artists: those who are well established, including key figures such as Nobuyoshi Araki, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Tatsuo Miyajima, together with a young generation of artists.

Exploring themes including urban life, social engagement, alienation and the fleeting nature of the physical world, the artists have a strong connection with the everyday. Their works are thoughtful, energetic and radical - always based on attention to real life, rather than virtual reality.' - abstract taken from back cover of catalogue.

This catalogue includes a foreword by Hiroaki Fujii, President of The Japan Foundation, and a preface by Susan Ferleger Brades, Director of The Hayward Gallery. Also included are artist's biographies.

Atsuko TANAKA, Genpei AKASEGAWA, Go WATANABE, Hiroshi SUGIMOTO, Makoto NOMURA, Masashi IWASAKI, Michihiro SHIMABUKU, Navin RAWANCHAIKUL, Nobuyoshi ARAKI, Rika NOGUCHI, Ryuji MIYAMOTO, Shigenobu YOSHIDA, Tadasu TAKAMINE, Takashi HOMMA, Takefumi ICHIKAWA, Takehisa KOSUGI, Tatsuo MIYAJIMA, Tomoko ISODA, Tomomi MAEKAWA, Yasuhiko HAMACHI, Yayoi KUSAMA, Yoshihiro SUDA, Yuji WATABE, Yukihisa NAKASE, Yukio FUJIMOTO and Yukio NAKAGAWA.



Eikoh Hosoe, Professor Donald Keene and Shuzo Takiguchi


An undisputed masterwork among Japanese photobooks, Eikoh Hosoe and Tatsumi Hijikata's "Kamaitachi" was originally released in 1969 as a limited edition of 1,000 copies. Hosoe, the renowned photographer, and Hijikata, the founder of ankoku butoh dance, had visited a farming village in northern Japan, where Hijikata improvised a performance inspired by the legend of a weasel-like demon named Kamaitachi.

As Hosoe photographed Hijikata's spontaneous interactions with the landscape and with the people they encountered, the two artists together enacted an intense investigation of tradition and an exploration, both personal and symbolic, of contemporary convulsions in Japanese society. In 2005, Aperture published a limited-edition facsimile in homage to the original, in close consultation with the artist; now, they have made this enchanting body of work available in its first ever affordable trade edition, which was painstakingly reworked by renowned graphic artist Ikko Tanaka--the designer of the original volume--shortly before his death.


Eikoh Hosoe 

Eikoh Hosoe and Mark Holborn


'To me photography can be simultaneously both a record and a 'mirror' or 'window' of self-expression. The camera is generally assumed to be unable to depict that which is not visible to the eye. And yet the photographer who wields it well can depict what lies unseen in his memory.' (Hosoe)

Eikoh Hosoe is an integral part of the history of the modern Japanese photography. He remains a driving force in photography, not only for his own work, but also as a teacher and as an ambassadorial figure, fostering artistic exchange between Japan and the outside world. His influence has been felt not only in his native country, but throughout the international photographic community.

Aperture's newly expanded Masters of Photography book series presents an introduction to the seminal photographers of our time. Each book in the series presents more than 40 images spanning the artist's career, along with a chronology, exhibition history and selected bibliography.


In the Road 


Kozo Miyoshi

'I slowly turn the wheel of my Subaru wagon, and park just in front of the cafe. "Destiny is a funny thing?" I say to myself. I had been in this area several times in the past twenty-five years but hadn't recalled the J cafe incident until just now, when I passed this last intersection. "What circle of events brings me back here? "The "open for business" sign is placed in the cafe window. Staring at the glass door, still painted white, I stand there and find myself tracing my reflection in the glass. It is like an unexpected meeting with a vague form in a passing crowd, where time seems to stop and the heart arches with some slightly bitter-sweet feeling .I return to the car, and after covering my 8x10 camera, laying ready in the front seat, I head towards the cafe. Anticipating a late morning breakfast that hasn't changed in these twenty-five years, I murmur to myself, "Things haven't changed....well ....maybe things have, just a little...." ' (Kozo Miyoshi)

Extract from Kozo Miyoshis' website




Toshio Shibata


In its interior, Japan is mountainous and green. Most of the population still lives along its coasts, but as people slowly move inland, mountainsides are torn away to create necessary horizontal space. To secure the newly exposed inclines, concrete is sprayed and poured onto the vertical plains, or hoisted as pre-poured grids onto the hillsides.

Since 1983, Toshio Shibata has photographed these sites. His elaborate compositions and exquisite black and white prints are works of art that record the merging -- and resulting tension -- of Japan's great natural beauty and the craftsmanship of its engineers.

Landscape presents a selection of forty-three photographs from this project, with essays by Anne Tucker and Etsuro Ishihara.



Kikuji Kawada - the Map 

Kikui Kawada



The original 1965 edition of “Chizu (The Map)” is a legendary photography book that is virtually impossible to catch sight of today.
While relentlessly tracking the “stains” scattered across walls and ceiling of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Kawada projects memories of the war through young soldiers’ portraits and letters, ruined fortresses, etc.
At the same time, his pictures of iron scraps at factories, Lucky Strike boxes brought in by occupation forces, dumped Coca-Cola bottles, and other indicators of recovery after the war, document the process of overall transformation in postwar Japan.
This long-awaited new edition of “Chizu (The Map)”, renowned as one of the most experimental Japanese photography books, is a complete reprint adopting Kohei Sugiura’s original peculiar design with all photos as double-page spreads.




Toshi-e (towards the city) 

Yutaka Takanashi


A landmark volume from one of the founders of the avant-garde Japanese magazine Provoke. The photographers associated with Provoke cultivated a grainy, blurry, black-and-white aesthetic, and Takanashi's pictures are grainy in the extreme. In contrast to his earlier, more upbeat Tokyoites series, the images here approach landscapes at skewed angles, as though shot from a speeding car, speeding perhaps "towards the city." Published in 1974 and considered the most luxurious of all of the Provoke-era publications, its brooding, pessimistic tone describes the state of contemporary life in an unnamed city, in a Japan undergoing massive economic and industrial transformations. This sixth volume in Errata's Books on Books series reproduces all 116 black-and-white photographs, along with an essay by the British photographer, writer and book historian Gerry Badger.

Araki - the Banquet


Nobuyoshi Araki


The Banquet' collects photos of the meals that Araki’s wife Yoko made during her last month alive. This book consists of precise reproductions of the cover and all pages from the original photobook, as well as new essays written by Ivan Vartanian and Jeffrey Ladd.


Araki - Lucky Hole


Nobuyoshi Araki


'In a certain sense, this collection of Araki's photographs is nothing less than a historical record of sex and morals in the early 1980s. At the same time, it differs minutely but definitively from usual photographic accounts. Within Araki's oeuvre, which is quite eclectic, this collection can certainly be categorized as reportage of contemporary urban morals. However, Araki us constantly aware of the fiction inherent in the supposed "objectivity" of standard documentary photographs: as long as subjects are aware that they are being photographed, they are not being photographed in their natural state. Furthermore, the photographer, involuntarily or otherwise, is imposing his own ideas and, thus, artificiality.'
- Yasumi, Akihio (1997) extract from the book.



The World Through My Eyes

Daido Moriyama and Filipo Maggia



A broad monograph devoted to Daido Moriyama, one of the pre-eminent names in contemporary Japanese photography along with Nobuyoshi Araki, Yasumasa Morimura, and Shomei Tomatsu. Moriyama's photography is provocative, both for the form it takes (dirty, blurry, overexposed, or scratched) and for its content. The viewer's experience of the photo--whether it captures a place, a person, a situation, or an atmosphere--is the central thrust in his work, which vividly and directly conveys the artist's emotions. His perspective and cultural background reveals aspects of Japan heretofore unknown. Seeing how he transforms the small, easily overlooked moments of everyday life into scenes of deep significance, the readers will be drawn into an investigation of reality in contemporary life.

Includes bibliographical references.


Stop Time 


Hiroshi Sugimoto


'Our collective history has been stopped, saved, and repeatedly scrutinized to the point of banalization. History, one might say, is not truly history until photography has thoroughly trivialized it. The day when mankind will realize its deep-seated desire to bring time to a stop is coming inexorably closer. Time exists only through the agency of human perception. Only when mankind vanishes from the earth can we truly claim to have halted time's progress. It is not long now.' - Hiroshi Sugimoto

Hiroshi Sugimoto was born in Tokyo in 1948, lives and works between New York and Tokyo. A multifaceted artist, developed his artistic practice through photography, often associated with sculptural objects, architecture and exhibition design experiments. Often addressed to the interrelationship between art, history, science and religion, his photographic research combines Eastern meditative ideas with elements of Western culture. In over thirty years of work, the artist has captivated audiences around the world with his impeccable black and white images. Inspired by Renaissance painting and early nineteenth century photography, through the use of a large format camera Sugimoto reaches an incredible fullness of tone, in a body of work reflecting his passion for detail and the fascination with the paradoxes of time and human perception.



Evolution of the Japanese Camera 

 Philip L. Condax


'"The Evolution of the Japanese Camera", showing the origin of and a step-by-step guide to the development of the Japanese camera. Because of their high quality and reasonable price, Japanese cameras have been widely accepted and appreciated by many photographers throughout the world. They have thus played a very important role in various fields of modern culture through photography.'

- Moriyama, Kinji. (1984) extract from the book.


Visions in my Mind [DVD] 


Maria Anna Tappeiner and Hiroshi Sugimoto


For thirty years, Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto (b. 1948) has made a strong impact on contemporary photography. His minimalist black-and-white images, each exploring a different theme and created according to a precise protocol, are studies in silence, clarity and emptiness. Sugimoto, a resident of the United States since 1970, unites Far Eastern aesthetics with techniques and themes derived from Western modernity. Among his best-known series of photographs are Dioramas, animal scenes shot in natural history museums; Theaters, images of drive-ins and luxurious theatres of the 1920s converted into movie houses; Seascapes, poetic and minimalist evocations of marine landscapes;and Architecture, out-of-focus photographs of historically important buildings. Sugamoto's works can be seen as meditations on time and space, presence and absence, reality and illusion. A major retrospective of his works is being held in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 2007-2008.





Seiichi Furuya and Monika Faber


Seiichi Furuya's photographs relentlessly highlight the cruel aspect of "shooting" a photograph. It is a materialistic act of severing the familiar relationship between the subject and the object, as well as the viewer and the object. Furuya is a photographer who totally excludes any lyrical vagueness from his images, even when his most intimate moments or his late wife are the subject. His work deploys a sharp tension that can seem like a cutting knife. Thus it seems no coincidence that he has taken up the theme of severance in his Border series, in which he shot the border zone between Austria, where he lived, and the Eastern European nations, and Wall, where he shot the Berlin Wall from the Eastern side before its collapse. In these works, the importance lies not in the old-fashioned melodramatic tragedy of crossing a boundary, but in the fact that the place in question is the remnant of an historical severance. This volume catalogues work Furuya has created over the past 25 years, in Europe, Japan, and the United States, including his latest series, which concentrates on his own neighborhood of Graz, transforming in into images of intense color and magical beauty.
Essay by Moika Faber.


Hiromix - Tokyo 


Hiromix and Patrick Remy


This book covers a cult trend in Tokyo -- the trading photographic of self-portraits. It is a new way of communicating among young Japanese women with cameras; their new nickname is "kubi kara camera zoku" (the crowd with a camera around the neck). Their spokeswoman is Hiromix, the spiritual daughter of Nobuyoshi Araki. Born in 1976, she knows well that her youth won't last forever; she therefore pins it clown through her camera lense. Her world is made of self-portra its, friends, fashion, and visions of Tokyo. It's a world of colors and innocence. It's her world of today.


Provoke - reprints 


Koji Taki, Takuma Nakahira, Takahiko Okada, Yutaka Takanashi, Daido Moriyama


The Provoke magazine has had an immeasurable influence on photography world-wide. The individual issues, however, have become extremely rare books that only very few photography enthusiasts will ever see.

With this true-to-original re-release, Japanese publisher Nitesha offers a facsimile reprint of the seminal three issues and their once ridiculed are-bure-boke aesthetics. The three re-issues are as close to the originals as possible, including book sizes and paper choice, and feature all images and texts of the originals – including all of Takahiko Okada’s texts. Additionally, a fourth booklet offers complete English and Chinese translations of all essays and poems of each of the three issues.



Farewell Photography


Daido Moriyama


Daido Moriyama’s 1972 photobook Farewell Photography was one of the most influential photobooks ever released. This faithful re-publication, designed by Satoshi Machiguchi in close cooperation with Moriyama, makes the seminal work available again, all photos in the original size of the 1972 edition.

The book includes a companion magazine with a retrospective essay by Moriyama as well as details and backgrounds for each single photobook (compiled exclusively for this publication). The English edition of the companion magazine opens with an edited English translation of Daido Moriyama’s conversation with Takuma Nakahira, originally included in Japanese in the 1972 release and never before translated.

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The Abscence of two


Akihito Yoshida


“This story was supposed to come to an end with my grandmother’s death, which would no doubt come in the not-so-distant future. However, it unexpectedly ended in a different way.”

Akihito Yoshida’s series “Absence of Two” portrays the relationship between his cousin Daiki and the grandmother who has raised him on behalf of his busy parents. She was there for all his big moments and memories, and he would be there for last years and months. In Yoshida’s beautiful black-and-white images, we see Daiki’s unusually strong bond with his grandmother, him cutting her fingernails, bathing and dressing her, jokingly pinch her cheeks.
One day, Daiki disappears, never to return. “As if following in his footsteps, in the following year my grandmother passed away. The last things that remained were countless photographs of the two and their life together, all the time needed each other, supporting each other, and caring for each other.” — from the artist’s statement.

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Kenta Cobayashi


“Everything_2”, the 4-years-in-the-making sequel to Kenta Cobayashi’s Everything_1, which launched the Japanese photographer’s career towards international museums and galleries and into the hands of fashion brands like PUGMENT, dunhill and Louis Vuitton.

Cobayashi has developed his unique visual aesthetic into an eclectic, colorful, expressive style that makes liberal use of digital manipulation techniques to glitch and alter his photographs. Cobayashi filters his impressions of metropolitan scenes and scenery, fashion and faces using technology, history and his own sensibility to create era-defining images, as he probes into the ability of photography (literally written as “copied reality” in Japanese) to depict truth.

“Everything_2 has been printed using Kaleido® technology to ensures a closer RGB fidelity, even in the offset realm, showcasing the vibrant tonal range evident in Cobayashi’s work.” (from the publisher’s description)

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A Hunter


Daido Moriyama


Daido Moriyama’s legendary photobook, now available again with invaluable commentary.

“A Hunter” was published in 1972, as the tenth part of a photobook series called “Gendai no Me,” and includes some of Daido Moriyama’s most infamous and respected photographs. For the series, Moriyama—inspired by Kerouac’s “On The Road”—drove through Japan by car, took photos wherever his wheels took him, and substantiated his status as one of Japan’s most interesting photographers.

This faithful new edition features the photobook as well as a carefully designed and researched English booklet which includes essays by Tadanori Yokoo and Shoji Yamagashi as well as invaluable commentary by Daido Moriyama regarding the book as a whole as well as each individual photograph.

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Daido Moriyama

“Boku” is the fourth entry in a series of photobooks with hand-bound, silkscreen-printed canvas covers (after “Pantomime”, “Tights in Shimotakaido” and “Lips! Lips! Lips!”).

In “Boku” (Japanese for “I/me”), Moriyama collects several photographs which feature himself in some way or other, most of the photographs being self-portraits.

The photobook is signed and numbered, with a limited edition of 350.

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Daido Moriyama - Complete Works


Daido Moriyama


Complete historical index of published images across 4 volumes.



Light and Shadow


Daido Moriyama


The photobook marked Moriyama’s return to photography, ten years after his previous photobook publication and three years after he basically stopped photographing altogether. “Light and Shadow” also marks an evolution in Moriyama’s photography, with the moodiness of earlier works replaced by a clearer focus on objects and the early bure-boke having evolved into a richer, high-contrast style.
This Japanese version features exclusive commentary by Moriyama in which he outlines the ten years between the publication of “Farewell Photography” (1972) and “Light and Shadow” (1982), and provides additional information for each photograph in the book.

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Japan : A Photo theatre


Daido Moriyama


The very first photobook by legendary Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama, “Japan: A Photo Theater,” is finally available again in a renewed edition.
Originally published in 1968 – the year which also saw the launch of the influential Provoke magazine – the book already demonstrates Moriyama’s trademark visual style. On invitation of Japanese writer Shuji Terayama, Moriyama began photographing members of a traveling theater group, adding shots of dwarf show dancers, strip clubs, street performers, fetuses in formaldehyde containers and other motifs.
This 2018 release is the first to feature English translations of Shuji Terayama’s writings. 

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160 Sheets


Daisuke Yokota



'There is a revolution going on in the works of emerging photographer, Daisuke Yokota, a revolution that links the past with the future of Japanese photography and reflects the artist’s desire to capture ideas of how memory is affected by the passage of time. His images appear at first to be the remains of a science fiction film set, illuminated by a silvery light that blasts everything like an atomic explosion to the point of removing all detail and origin. A futuristic vision, yet within its foundation is an ongoing thread continuing a tradition that emerged in the 1960’s – twenty years before the photographer was born.' - Peggy Sue Amison

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Daisuke Yokota


The images are typical night city wanderings and exhibit Yokota’s signature experimental processing techniques whilst also demonstrating unconventional shooting methods like re-appropriating thermographic and infrared cameras and rendering the images onto analog film. But overall Yokota’s experiments with extremely low-resolution cameras brings the concept of classical photography to its limits and revises the question of what photography should be.

― Statement from publisher


100 Bilder


Daisuke Yokota
Yoshi Kametani
Hiroshi Takizawa


Hallucinatory flashes of the Berlin underworld permeate through the pages of this collective work by Japanese artists Daisuke Yokota,Yoshi Kametani and Hiroshi Takizawa. A collaboration of night work in a city that never sleeps; the photographers pass like ghosts through all manner of places; forests, strip clubs, industrial estates, parking lots and darkened streets. Utilising a variety of different techniques they present a fresh perspective of the metropolis. All photos taken in Berlin during the Kominek Books residency program 2016.

ー Statement from publisher




Daisuke Yokota


Room Furniture


Daisuke Yokota


Room / Rabbit


Daisuke Yokota



Erika Yoshino


“Neroli” is an oil made from the flowers of a bitter orange tree. Sometimes, it is also referred to as “Neroli Bigarade.” “Bigarade” means bitter orange in French. Its scientific name is “Citrus aurantium.” Extracted from flowers of trees over 20 years old immediately after they bloom, Neroli has a complex scent that is a mixture of flower nectar, tree bark, and leaf. When I photograph, I release the shutter of my camera, at times impulsively, focusing on the subjects and also on my own emotions. The image appears on the photographic paper and makes a fleeting moment permanent. Neroli is like a collection of time. In aromatherapy, it colors the air with its distinct scent which evokes the image of a beautiful white bitter orange flower. I would like to capture moments of chance, passion, and ineffable, irreplaceable importance in photographs.

— from the artist’s statement for Taka Ishii Gallery’s Neroli exhibition


On the circle


Hitoshi Fugo


It's not unusual for Hitoshi Fugo to use his photography as an exentded meditation on a single subject: his previous photobook, "Flying Frying Pan," was an entire series in which he looked at an old frying pan, and discovered galaxy-like configurations of light in its tiny nooks and crannies. With "On the Circle," Fugo has left the world of the frying pan, but he's still photographing in a fundamentally experimental way. In this work, he's set his camera up on a small circular patch of artificial grass, and taken all of his photographs from a slightly elevated perspective, looking down at the curve of this patch as it meets the dirt around it. From this starting point, Fugo's photographs cover a broad range of subjects and styles. Sometimes he takes what appear to be straightforward portraits, but he also plays with the scene, in a Surrealist style: he's introduced many different objects into his photographs, and in a particularly striking image, three women in swimsuits appear to execute a freestyle stroke across the circle. After discovering the universe in a frying pan, Fugo has returned to a circular area more in line with the scale of the human body, but he continues to find new ways to present the familiar in an unfamiliar way.




Masahisa Fukase


‘My entire family, whose image I see inverted in the frosted glass, will die one day. This camera, which reflects and freezes their images, is actually a device for archiving death’.

― Masahisa Fukase

“Family,” the last photobook published by Masahisa Fukase before his accident in 1992, will be republished in a new edition in September.

Fukase began taking portraits of his family in 1971 in the family-owned photography studio in Bifuku in Hokkaido. The series continued until 1989, until the studio closed due to bankruptcy.
In true Fukase-style he subverted the family portraits by including unrelated models, pulling faces, letting his family pose nude and using other humorous devices. The series includes 32 images, all taken on the large-format family-owned Anthony view camera, and documents the Fukase family aging, growing, losing members. The book also includes an autobiography written by Fukase himself.





Masahisa Fukase


"'Hibi' was one of Masahisa Fukase's final bodies of work. Fukase photographed street cracks and fissures between 1990 and 1992, and then hand painted a set of 10 x 8" bromide prints. The series was shown in February 1992, in his solo exhibition 'Private Scenes '92' held at the Nikon Salon in Tokyo, alongside 'Private Scenes', 'Bukubuku', and 'Berobero'. His working life came to an end four months later, when he fell down the stairs in Shinjuku Golden Gai, Tokyo, and suffered brain damage


Masahisa Fukase exhibition


Masahisa Fukase


This monograph brings together for the very first time all of his artistic work presented over 26 series, including the ones dedicated to his father (Memories of Father); without forgetting his series on cats, including his own, Sasuke; and his famous self-portraits taken in a bathtub, with a waterproof camera (‘Bukubuku’) or in pairs (‘Berobero’) touching tongues, which he later colored.


Primal Mountain


Yuji Hamada



“Primal Mountain” by Yuji Hamada: aluminum foil mountains question the relationship between truth and fiction, author and reader, ideal and reality, fake and truth.

Inspired by a postcard picturing beautiful Swiss mountains, sent by a friend shortly after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, Japanese photographer Yuji Hamada began photographing crumpled up aluminum foil in front of the Tokyo sky. Formed to resemble ridges and cliffs and typical shadows, the aluminum shapes resemble mountains, an effect carefully enhanced by Hamada.
“What I tried to do with this series was to allow the viewer to create their own image of a mountain in their mind. The title of the series, Primal Mountain, refers to the very first image of a mountain that the viewer sees in their mind, as opposed to the images that are complete in the subjective view of the artist,” writes Hamada in his afterword.

The series, skillfully and brilliantly collected in photobook form by designer Yoshihisa Tanaka, plays with its subject matter as much as it toys with the reader. From photos seemingly inspired (and clearly resembling) famous mountains to somewhat fantastic shapes, Hamada also uses his faux alps to explore mountain photography without physical limitations.
The book concludes with an essay by Seigow Matsuoka and an afterword by Yuji Hamada (in Japanese and English translation).

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Maiko Haruki


'Originally, it began with my question on “what a decisive moment is for photography?” I thought over a number of different techniques to print the moments over a brief time period. I wanted to inspire the viewer to imagine what happened before and after the moment. To photograph this work, I timed when the first person walked in the frame and until the next one passed and mentioned the duration time in the title..' - Maiko Haruki (2014)

Interviewed by Miho Odaka on




Hayahisa Tomiyasu 


The winner of the 2018 MACK First Book Award, TTP is a series of photographs made by Hayahisa Tomiyasu from the window of his former student apartment in the German city of Leipzig. From his south-facing view we see a 'tischtennisplatte' or ping pong table used for a plethora of purposes - including a sun bed, a laundry counter, a kids' climbing frame, an exercise site, a family lunch spot, a refuge from busy streets, among various other uses - except from table tennis. Tomiyasu spent five years documenting the hue table and thanks to his sustained curiosity we observe the idiosyncrasies of human behaviour and social habits, as seasons change, scenes mutate and people come and go.


Beginnings 1975


Miyako Ishiuchi


“Beginnings: 1975” is a collection of Miyako Ishiuchi’s earliest photographs. Ishiuchi discovered the images by chance while preparing a solo exhibition at the Yokohama Museum of Art.
The photos were taken from within Ishiuchi’s daily life, and developed in a makeshift darkroom in her parents’ house.
The black-and-white photos “provoke no nostalgia, no sentimental memories; they appear instead as mysterious proof of the depth of the decades between that time and my life today,” writes Ishiuchi in her afterword (available in Japanese and English), adding:
“Although I still find them imperfect, I recognize I already had the vision that led me to create ‘Yokosuka Story,’ ‘Apartment,’ and ‘Endless Nights.’”





Miyako Ishiuchi


Published in 2015 by Case Publishing and produced by the Fine-Arts Photography Association of Japan, Ishiuchi Miyako’s Belongings contains a selection of her most recent and well known bodies of work published on occasion of the 2015 Daikanyama Photo Fair. Bound within are images from three of her photographic series; _Mothers (2000-2005), Hiroshima__(2007) _andFrida by Ishiuchi Miyako (2013), which bring together the most comprehensive collection of published images of her on going exploration into the remnants of individuals and our relationship to both time and memory.


Yokohama Gorakuso


Miyako Ishiuchi



Gorakuso was the name of an apartment complex in Yokohama. Built in 1932 as a Tokyo businessman’s gift to his daughter, after the war it was repurposed by the American forces as a brothel for their soldiers. “Discovering these facts, the murkey shadow that I had felt in the beginning […] made complete sense to me”, writes Ishiuchi in her afterword.
In certain ways an answer to her first published work “Apartment” (1978), looking through Ishiuchi’s Yokohama Gorakuso series brings out the other, secret history of this building complex.

— statement by the publisher





Issei Suda


The genesis of the photobook “78” began in January 2019, shortly before Issei Suda’s death, when Cécile Poimboeuf-Koizumi (of French publisher Chose Commune) contacted Suda regarding the publication of a new book. Suda died before the project could be discussed in detail; instead Poimboeuf-Koizumi was allowed access to Suda’s archive in November 2019, filled with countless yet unpublished photographs. Poimboeuf-Koizumi made a selection in a single day, choosing 78 images taken in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures between 1971 and 1983.

The photographs are yet another reminder of Suda’s unparalleled skill and aesthetic sensibilities as a photographer. His trademark deep and contrast-rich black-and-white photos of varied subjects – from portraits to street signs or flowers – paint the world with humor and Suda’s human spirit, adding a hint of strangeness and otherworldliness to familiar everyday scenes.

“His vision, quirky and with a touch of humor, focused primarily on urban settings inhabited by children whose rules of play seem to baffle the world of adults. The everyday becomes mysterious, the mundane feels exceptional. It was only upon our return to France that I realised Suda had passed away at 78, the exact number of prints we had intuitively selected on that autumn afternoon. This book is a tribute to the great photographer he was.” (from Cécile Poimboeuf-Koizumi’s afterword)

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Ai Iwane



In her latest photobook, Japanese artist Ai Iwane explores the ties between a special aspect of Japanese Hawaiian culture and its roots in Fukushima prefecture: the o-bon, a festival for honoring one’s ancestors. A particular song played during the Hawaiian bon festival, the “Fukushima Ondo,” stems from the area of Fukushima which was devastated by the 2011 disasters.
Through a brilliant combination of portraits, landscapes and moody detail shots, Iwane manages to tell a story of uprootedness and connection.

“A century has passed since that song was brought from Fukushima to Hawaii,
exiled from the hometown that it shares with the refugees.


The Hawaiian term refers to a place surrounded by the burnt-out traces of lava flow;
a place where plants grow and spread the seeds of new life.
This is the idea that I resorted to time and again during my travels between Hawaii and Fukushima.”

— from Ai Iwane’s afterword





Naohiro Utagawa 
Yoshi Kametani


VOID is a collaborative work by the two Japanese photographers Naohiro UTAGAWA and Yoshi KAMETANI. For the book, they arranged tools and other things within their vicinity, and employed photography to document the works as well as their creation process. The act of photographing becomes part of the installation process. As a result, the photographs explores the relationship between installation art and photography and challenge spatial expression. The book allows a glimpse at the thought processes that arise between the two artists during the creation of their installations.

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Searching for the language of a house : Architectural Photography by Koji Taki.


Koji Taki


“Searching for the Language of a House” comprises photographs taken by Japanese photographer and critic Koji Taki between 1968 and ’79, featuring 17 buildings by architectures such as Hironori Shirasawa, Kazuo Shinohara and Toyo Ito. The black-and-white photographs – taken with great imagination, highlighting each space’s individual character and sometimes daring to dip into the abstract – work both as illustrative images of architectural spaces as well as artful photographs of their own, but were originally not meant to be published in this form. Rather, as his own daughter as well as an essay by anthropologist and cultural critic Ryuta Imafuku point out, Taki preferred to abandon these works (originally taken as a sort of visual reference for Taki’s writing on architecture), with Imafuku comparing the act of this book’s publication as similar to Max Brod deciding not to burn the writings of his friend Franz Kafka’s death.

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Rainbow Variations


Taisuke Koyama


The photobook Rainbow Variations by Japan-based Artbeat Publishers is the first anthology of Taisuke Koyama’s experimental photography, including his ‘Rainbow Variations’s series, on which he has been working since 2009, and his latest series ‘Pico’.
The epynomous ‘Rainbow Variations’ series sees Koyama photograph extreme close-ups of rainbow-coloured publicity posters in an experiment to transform and iteratively amplify the photographic images of a "rainbow as an artefact”.

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Hiroshi Takizawa


'My production process always begins with gathering images by shooting/scanning various surfaces of this world. They mainly consist of stones and rocks which have contained time and memories, and other materials such as walls, floors, pieces of furniture, and concretes which have something to do with actions related to architectures. Utilizing these materials, my intention is to search for the relationship between the 2D world made by photos/images and the 3D sculpture works. In addition, by comparing the pieces of those collected images, I try to reflect on my point of view as well as on the gap I find between reality and fiction in this society. I believe photography tends to reflect them quite obviously even without consciousness. Therefore, I am interested in the phenomenon that appears as an image, which proves that the object is taken by a camera/scanner actually existed there. Also, by observing the gap/differences of distances and spaces that occur in between the world of my perception and the world reflected by photography, I do intend to present new dimensions through my creation.' - Hiroshi Takizawa

- from Six Questions: Hiroshi Takizawa @



Taiji Matsue


Though it is a truism that photography--in its momentariness and stillness--allows the viewer to see information and relationships that would otherwise go unnoticed. With the advent of digital photography, the levels to which data is recorded allow for a complex matrix of information layers. Within this, how we view the image-- where we bring our attention--can trump the totality of the photograph itself. In this body of work, Matsue Taiji uses what he calls "super trimming" to excise out one part of his photographs thereby constraining our attention on a certain square of information, which he in this context is a "cell," the smallest component denomination. In the book's accompanying text, photo critic Shimizu Minoru says, "There is a feeling that what we can see at present is only a small portion of the total potential visual data." Nonetheless, there is an intentional avoidance of specificity. While the poses and gestures are discernible, the details of the faces remain just beyond identification. What results then is a form of topology of humans and their environments, allowing us a moment to see ourselves as small specs quite unaware that we are being watched from a distance; watched by either someone or something depending on the trim. In lieu of page numbers, the title (or code) for each plate appears in minuscule type placed in the exact vertical center of the image, subtly reinforcing the position and alignment of axes.

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Mayumi Hosokura


The photobook “Jubilee” consists of works by Japanese photographer Mayumi Hosokura taken between 2012 and 2017. Taken in East Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan, China and more, Hosokura’s images depict fragments of urban and rural landscapes, nude bodies, surfaces, textures, details and shapes.

“The extraordinary skill and view to depict the delicate and fragile beauty of the subject matter has been acknowledged to be one of the most talented Japanese female photographers of our age.[…] sometimes through the natural light or color filters, all the images are treated equally, yet transforming and being reborn within a very quiet but heated rhythm and beat underneath.”

― from the publisher’s description

New skin

Mayumi Hosokura


Deeply affected by Donna Haraway's writing, 'New Skin' is Mayumi Hosokura's proposition for a new way of thinking about identity, the body and desire. Its origin is one single, large-scale digital collage which Hosokura created using clippings from old gay magazines, statues, and found selfies, together with her own photographs specifically choosing to use images of male figures only. Subsequently cut into 12 separate pieces the resulting fragments blur the boundaries between man and woman, human and animal, living and non-living beings; hybrid works that reimagine what it means to be human and which unsettle social conventions of desire. Drawing on feminist theory and current technological innovations, 'New Skin' anticipates the future of the body in a time of advancing digital and bio-technologies.

Transparency is the new mystery

Mayumi Hosokura

 Transparency is the new mystery comprises twenty-two images of nudes and crystals, by Japanese photographer Mayumi Hosokura. The fragile silhouette of a hand, a coiled nude body, or the transfixing symmetry of crystalline minerals are shown in soft, translucent black and white images, held together by an enigmatic interior logic.


Me and me

Izumi Miyazaki



“Me and me” — surreal self-portraits of a bob-haired young girl; cheerful yet decidedly ironic.
In her many playful, imaginative photographs, Izumi Miyazaki dissects and disturbs familiar scenes and landscapes, tricks her viewers, surprises with her idiosyncratic ideas. Beneath the poppy colors and all the playing around lies the sense of someone not (yet) at home in the world, not accepting what’s expected of her.

“When this state of being at odds with myself continues for a while, there is that other ‘me’ that has witnessed the whole scenery and comes up to encourage me to have faith in myself. […] I am going to savor the happy feeling of being able to be myself, and continue to enjoy myself as hard as I can.”

— From Izumi Miyazaki’s afterword


Tsunami, photographs, and then : Lost and found project.


Munemasa Takahashi


This unique humanitarian catalogue documents the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated a large swath of Japan’s coastline. Under the project name “Memory Salvage,” volunteers assembled by a Japanese university cleaned and scanned family photographs recovered from the wreckage, with the aim of returning them to their rightful owners. But those that were too heavily damaged were thrown into a “hopeless” box—that is, before photographer Munemasa Takahashi, a project volunteer, discovered them.

Takahashi took these “hopeless” images and turned them into a traveling exhibition, that aimed to raise funds for tsunami survivors. This exhibition catalogue offers its readers a trove of information, condensing the moving exhibition into a large-format paperback publication. The highlights include diverse installation views from the exhibition’s various incarnations, as well as a wide range of texts (in Japanese and English) which contextualize the exhibition and the disaster. Of course, the book also includes the images themselves, moving photographs that convey both the scale of the undertaking and the power of the personal snapshot to humanize tragedy.

— LensCulture




Momo Okabe


Following her highly acclaimed books “Dildo” (2013) and “Bible” (2014, both published by NY-based Session Press), “Irmatar” is Japanese photographer Momo Okabe’s first photobook published in Japan.
In her signature style of intense, strong colors and her no-holds-barred approach, in “Irmatar” Okabe explores her experience as a nonsexual woman and her close-knit group of friends – many of them transgender – in contemporary Japan, with subjects ranging from close-ups and nudes to landscapes and intimate moments of sexual and emotional nature. The book’s main subject and guiding thread is Okabe’s own artificial insemination, pregnancy and delivery of her firstborn child.

'Under the piercing sunlight, the city appeared to be beaming.
In the car going home, the baby kept watching the burning city.

When I point my camera at them, I see me there.
I think of people I cannot see again.
In me they live forever;
I sometimes become a man, and sometimes a woman, and used a womb as a tool to give birth.'

 - from Momo Okabe’s afterword


A long journey : the works of Toshiko Okanoue 

Toshiko Okanoue

'Toshiko Okanoue burst onto the Tokyo art scene as a young woman in the 1950s when her photo collages came to the attention of Shuzo Takiguchi, a leading figure in Japan's Surrealism movement. Although Okanoue's work features the fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtapositions that characterize Surrealism, the similarities were accidental: at the time, she knew nothing of the international effort to liberate the imagination by tapping the unconscious mind, or indeed that collage was an established medium already used for decades by avant-garde artists in Europe. Okanoue hit upon photo collage as a means of self-expression independently, through her own explorations with scissors, glue and images clipped from imported magazines.' - Alice Gordenker

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Bacon ice cream


Yoshiyuki Okuyama


After gathering attention within the photography world for his unique aesthetic sensibilities, Japanese newcomer Yoshiyuki Okayama publishes his first photobook, “Bacon Ice Cream”, bringing together a selection of works from the past five years.

Okayama’s sensitive photography connects shattered the fragments of a world as seen from angles usually ignored. Impressions are stripped of their spatial and temporal context, and what remains are simple, careful memories, joined only through Okayama’s unique point of view.

The colours, shapes and lights of this world — all of it, reflected in each single photograph.

— from the publisher’s statement (translation by )



Provoke : Between protest and performance


Diane Dufour
Matthew S. Witkovsky


The short-lived Japanese magazine Provoke, founded in 1968, is nowadays recognized as a major contribution to postwar photography in Japan, featuring the country's finest representatives of protest photography, vanguard fine art and critical theory in only three issues overall. The magazine's goal was to mirror the complexities of Japanese society and its art world of the 1960s, a decade shaped by the country's first large-scale student protests. The movement yielded a wave of new books featuring innovative graphic design combined with photography: serialized imagery, gripping text-image combinations, dynamic cropping and the use of provocatively "poor" materials. Provoke accompanies the first exhibition ever to be held on the magazine and its creators. Illuminating the various uses of photography in Japan at the time, the catalogue focuses on selected projects undertaken between 1960 and 1975 that offer a strongly interpretative account of currents in Japanese art and society at a moment of historical collapse and renewal.




Rinko Kawauchi


In recent years, Rinko Kawauchi’s exploration of the cadences of the everyday has begun to swing farther afield from her earlier photographs focusing on tender details of day-to-day living. In her series and resulting book Ametsuchi (2013), she concentrated mainly on the volcanic landscape of Japan’s Mount Aso, using a historic site of Shinto rituals as an anchor for a larger exploration of spirituality. In Halo, Kawauchi expands this inquiry, this time grounding the project with photographs of the southern coastal region of Izumo, in Shimane Prefecture, interweaving them with images from New Year celebrations in Hebei province, China—a five-hundred-year-old tradition in which molten iron is hurled in lieu of fireworks—and her ongoing fascination with the murmuration of birds along the coast of Brighton, England. Cycles of time, implicit and subliminal patterns of nature and human ritual, are mesmerizingly knit together in these pages.

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As it is


Rinko Kawauchi


With her 2020 photobook “As it is,” Rinko Kawauchi returns her photographic focus to personal universe that surrounds her. Following photographs of a blue sky and a shimmering river, “As it is” begins to knit profoundly significant events, like the birth of her daughter three years ago, with mundane moments. Throughout the book, Kawauchi documents not only her child growing up and discovering her surroundings but also captures the sense of unbridled curiosity and positivity towards the world. Through this lens, Kawauchi shows us the beauty of nature – in little creatures, in single plants, in patterns of leaves, in the red of a bud sprouting in spring – and of daily, mundane life. Interspersed are short texts by Kawauchi drawing light to the ubiquity of her daughter and the raw, abundant vitality that she embodies.
A book that adds new shades of meaning to the sights and events of mundane, ordinary life – published in a year when the mundane and ordinary have largely disappeared from our lives.

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Rinko Kawauchi


In 2001, Rinko Kawauchi launched her career with the simultaneous publication of three astonishing photobooks—Utatane, Hanabi, and Hanako—firmly establishing herself as one of the most innovative newcomers to contemporary photography, not just in Japan, but across the globe. In the years that followed, she published other notable monographs, including Aila (2004), The Eyes, the Ears, (2005), and Semear (2007). 

Kawauchi’s work has frequently been lauded for its nuanced palette and offhand compositional mastery, as well as its ability to incite wonder via careful attention to tiny gestures and the incidental details of her everyday environment. In Illuminance, Kawauchi continues her exploration of the extraordinary in the mundane, drawn to the fundamental cycles of life and the seemingly inadvertent, fractal-like organization of the natural world into formal patterns.

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Shomei Tomatsu 2018 exhibition catalogue


Shomei Tomatsu


The work of Shomei Tomatsu (Nagoya, Aichi, 1930-Naha, Okinawa, 2012) arose “in the shadow of the war” in a context of devastation and poverty, as he himself noted in his writings. Japan at that date was a defeated country under American occupation: a country where the echo of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki still resounded in the collective memory.

Shomei Tomatsu was twenty when he started to take photographs. He was already familiar with the technique as his two brothers enjoyed photography and even had an improved dark room in a cupboard. His first image, in a Surrealist style, was criticised by his teacher, who encouraged him to follow a realist approach. Tomatsu thus redirected his gaze towards reality, but without any concession to photo-journalism. 

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Hiroshi Sugimoto

'I'm a habitual self-interlocutor.  One evening while taking photographs at the American Museum of Natural History, I had a near-hallucinatory vision. My internal question-and-answer session leading up to this vision went something like this:  "Suppose you shoot a whole movie in a single frame? "  The answer: "You get a shining screen. "  Immediately I began experimenting in order to realize this vision. One afternoon I walked into a cheap cinema in the East Village with a large-format camera. As soon as the movie started, I fixed the shutter at a wide-open aperture. When the movie finished two hours later, I clicked the shutter closed. That evening I developed the film, and my vision exploded behind my eyes.' - Hiroshi Sugimoto

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La plaque sensible


Risako Suzuki



Risaku Susuki’s quest for the purity of perception.

The 58 photographs of Risaku Suzuki’s latest photobook “La plaque sensible” were almost exclusively taken in places that inspired impressionist painters such as Monet, Degas or Cezanne in the 19th century. The connection to these impressionist painters is no accident: with the invention of photography, painters had to redefine the art of painting and consequently opened up entirely new possibilities for their medium. In the same way, Suzuki has in his works always searched to widen the meaning and possibility space of photography and pursued a “pure” perception of the world, unmediated by his conscious photographic decisions. As a result, the photographs in “La plaque sensible” (named Cezanne’s definition of what an artist should be) are united by Suzuki’s perhaps most simplistic theme, resulting in a photobook that is both the most accessible of his works yet also the crystallization of his methodology and unique ideals.

“My goal is to retain as much of this clarity as possible in material form of the photographic print. If this clarity is obtained, the experience of looking at a photograph can be one of expansiveness as well as depth. This sensation, this response, is a profound experience. It is a profundity that arises anew with every look at a world that continues to forever change.” (from Risaku Suzuki’s afterword (included in Japanese and English translation))

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Risako Suzuki


Together with “White” and “Between the Sea and the Mountain”, Sakura forms one of the main representative series of Risaku Suzuki’s 20 year long body of work.

In Sakura, Suzuki focuses on the cherry blossom, the one flower most familiar with his Japanese audience and simultaneously one of the most trite and ordinary photographic motifs available. Suzuki’s choice to focus on the cherry blossoms may well be a decision to sharpen his own artistic sensibilities.

The photobook, published by Edition Nord, is a light, bright, beautiful examination of the cherry flower, from both a more direct, earnest approach and - with some of the photos completely taken over by blurred out close-ups - in a self-aware, meta-commentary kind of manner. Most of the works in the book have been photographed in 2016, with additional photographs shot at later dates.

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Butsu butsu


Takashi Homma



Genichiro Inokuma (1902-1993) was one of Japan’s leading post-war painters. He and his wife Fumiko were also avid collectors of objects from all over the world, amassing a peculiar library of items that speak of their aesthetic sensibilities – furniture, dolls, toys, traditional craft, tools, etc.

The book “Butsu Butsu” constitutes a project created in collaboration between Japanese photographer Takashi Homma, stylist Miyoko Okao and graphic designer Shunji Okura, responsible for the book’s design. With Okao having made a selection of items from among Inokuma’s collection, Homma photographed them in a neutral yet intimate manner in front of a blue-and-white backdrop and soft light. Okao and Homma then offer brief, impromptu commentary for each item (playing on the title’s double-meaning – literally written “thing-thing”, but pronounced like the onomatopoeia for “to mutter, to grumble”). The book takes a look at what one’s tastes and collected items may say about one’s personality, offering a unique glimpse into the mind of one of Japan’s most acclaimed abstract artists.

The book concludes with an essay by author Toshiyuki Horie (all texts only available in Japanese).

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Tokyo Rumando


Tokyo Rumando is regarded as one of the most experimental young female artists in Japanese photography, and her work can now be explored in a solo exhibition for the first time in Europe.

Leaving behind the frantic hustle of the streets of Tokyo and the nocturnal allure of neon signs and billboards, Tokyo Rumando withdraws into the seclusion of her apartment and begins an intense game of role-play. Confident and conscious of the viewer’s gaze, she appears before the camera naked or dressed, disguised with a mask or make-up. In terms of motifs, some of the high-contrast, jet-black photographs are reminiscent of works by Daido Moriyama and Nobuyoshi Araki, for whom she also posed a few years ago.

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Takashi Yasumura


1/1 is Takashi Yasumura’s fourth photographic series which follows Domestic Scandals, Nature Tracing and If This is a Planet. Yasumura commenced this series in 2008, and continued shooting throughout Japan until 2015. While Yasumura has occasionally shown this work in solo and group exhibitions, this collection compiles together one hundred and eleven works, including many of which have never been shown before.

In Domestic Scandals, Yasumura’s obsessive attention was not only on the oranges and short cakes that appear to be the central subjects, but rather was directed towards all the details captured by the camera that put their environments in the leading role, such as the walls, floors, table clothes, and curtains. 1/1 can be seen as the extension of these efforts. - from the Publishers website. 


Des Oiseaux


Yoshinori Mizutani



A figure of the young Japanese photography scene, Yoshinori Mizutani revisits the urban space of his city, Tokyo. Steeped in the Japanese pictorial tradition, the photographer explores Tokyo’s daily life and captures scenes that verge on the fantastic. His framings and bright colours confer an element of otherness to his images. Forms, textures, colourful hues, and depth of field develop a visual vocabulary that is both poetic and pop. Visions from dreams or nightmares, through their presence, Yoshinori Mizutani’s birds saturate the world of the city and restore its mystery. 

This publication is part of the Des oiseaux (On birds) collection celebrating, through the vision of different artists, their immense presence in a world where they are now vulnerable. Accompanying these photographs, the ornithologist Guilhem Lesaffre writes a special essay. For this title, he sheds light on the social instincts of birds. 

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A Certain collector B


Yosuke Bandai


Visually and haptically, “A Certain Collector B” lets the reader imagine holding a private, hand-made album indexing the anonymous B’s collection. Bandai – a multidisciplinary artist whose practice also involves photography – created the images in the book using materials and objects (waste and refuse, metal parts, sticks, stones, organic parts) gathered at night from illegal dumping sites in forests or roadsides. The items, most are in some state of decay, are placed on a flatbed scanner and photographed, recreating and transforming the discarded items into new forms and shapes that seem as if floating in mid-air, devoid of all three-dimensionality and depth.

“The photobook’s premise is that a character identified as ‘B’ collected these images of trash, and then someone else stepped in to subsequently reproduce the album as a consumable commercial product. In a sense, I wanted to try and bring this scenario to fruition, motivated by a sense of playfulness and also a dose of cynicism.” — from an interview with Yosuke Bandai

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High, red, central, action


Yasumasa Morimura


This book introduces works and performances by Yasumasa Morimura which are based on the influential group Hi-Red Center, a leading avant-garde art collective from the 1960s. The works featured include “Cometman” (1990), “For Kazuo Ohno’s Admiring La Argentina” (2010” and “High, Red, Central, Action” (2018). Essays by Yuri Mitsuda and Yasumasa Morimura provide further context and information.

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Noboru Ueki 
Yushi Kobayashi


This book focuses on the works of Noboru Ueki & Yūshi Kobayashi, two representative artists of the photographic group K.P.S (Kyoto Photography Society), established in 1925. Featuring photographs and original texts by both artists, an essay by art historian Ryuichi Kaneko as well as biographic overviews.

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Gen Otsuka


Gen Otsuka


This issue focuses on the work of Gen Otsuka, the first true photojournalist in Japan. Using wide-angle photography as well as montage, Otsuka’s work is marked by an excellent sense for artistic photography. In addition to Otsuka’s photographs, the book also features an essay by art historian Ryuichi Kaneko as well as a biographic overview.

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The Naniwa photography club


Yoho Tsuda, Shosuke Sekioka,

Heihachiro Sakai



The Naniwa Photography Club, founded in 1904 in Osaka, is Japan’s oldest surviving amateur photographers’ organization, with many important contributions to Japan’s photographic history. The club suffered during the war, and was revived by Yoho Tsuda, Shosuke Sekioka, Heihachiro Sakai. This book focuses on their work through a selection of their photography, an essay by art historian Ryuichi Kaneko, a longer text on Yoho Tsuda and biographic overviews.

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Still life


Motoyuki Daifu


Born in 1985, Motoyuki Daifu is currently based in Kanagawa, Japan. With numerous publications including the photobooks Lovesody (Little Big Man Books, 2012) and Project Family (Dashwood Books, 2013), he enjoys a notable following on the international stage: his multifaceted corpus garnered a nomination for the Prix Pictet in 2014.

Thematically, Daifu's work is an extended examination of private life, presented with a humorous touch that disrupts conventional photographic contexts. From the triangular relationship formed with a former girlfriend and her son depicted in Lovesody, to the chaotic home environment of his own family seen in Project Family, his photographs offer an objective vantage point on extremely intimate subjects, further enriched by an editorial flair that results in sublime personal narrative.

Still Life was presented in solo exhibition at Tokyo contemporary art gallery Misako & Rosen in November 2014.



Modern photography


Iwata Nakayama


'Nakayama was born at a time when Japan finally established its international position after striving for rapid modernization. Growing up with the process of modernization taking root, he was attracted to the "art" brought about by Western Europe and longed to become a Western-style painter. Eventually he became one of the first in Japan to receive a professional photography education at university.'

- Mitsuda, Yuri. (2003) - translated extract from the book.


Excavating the future city


Naoya Hatakeyama


This catalogue, co-published with the Aperture Foundation on occasion of the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s exhibition ‘Excavating the Future City: Photographs by Naoya Hatakeyama’ (March 4 - July 22, 2018), provides a comprehensive overview of the Japanese photographer’s wide-ranging career.
Divided into five chapters (“Birth/Genesis”, “Visible/Invisible”, “Trans/Flux”, “Real/Model” and “Death/Rebirth”), the book presents 24 of Hatakeyama’s series, ranging from labyrinthian city shots to high-speed captures of exploding quarries and documentations of the damage done by the 2011 Tsunami. In addition to essays by Yasufumi Nakamori, Toyo Ito and Hatakeyama himself (all in English), each chapter offers introductory texts for each series and a wealth of quotes from Hatakeyama.

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Even after


Asako Narahashi


We usually look at and perceive the boundary between sea and shore from the stable state of the land. However, the images of water’s edge captured by Asako Narahashi reverse our usual perception. They bring us the amazement of this reversed vision and the sense of being suspended in midair.

The images of water’s indeterminate and ever changing form in Ever After, over which we see the mountains and buildings, were photographed in Japan, Dubai, Amsterdam, the suburbs of Paris, Santa Monica, Taipei, and other places between 2002 and 2011. Although they have recorded the reality of each sight, sometimes the water becomes something beyond water, the mountains and buildings become something beyond their usual forms. These images touch the boundary of consciousness and unconsciousness through photography. Being on the water’s edge, we feel both comfort and anxiety at the same time.

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Asako Narahashi


A leg fixed in plaster (“gips” in Japanese) means a limitation to everyday life that will last for several weeks. Japanese photographer Asako Narahashi had an exhibition planned for the following month when she broke her left pinky toe and had her leg covered in a cast in April of 1991. Not yet having taken enough photographs to cover the walls of the gallery, she decided to document her life with her leg in plaster.

- from distributors website




Sohei Nishino


Since 2003, photographer Sohei Nishino has made nearly twenty diorama maps of various cities around the world. The artist spends months at a time to walk the streets of each city and photograph upwards of 10,000 exposures using 35mm film. After printing his myriad rolls of film as contact sheets, he pieces together the individual frames with meticulous detail over a canvas of several square meters. The final assemblages are a new kind of map that document of Nishino’s experience of the city.

- from distributors website



Water line


Sohei Nishino


“Water Line” is Sohei Nishino’s multi-faceted look at the Po River – the largest river in Italy, with 16 million people living along its banks – and the communities and habitats it feeds.
Sohei traveled along the river on a month-long journey in 2017, taking more than 20.000 photographs during his exploration. He selected and assembled the photographs to form a large tableaux of life along the Po River. The photographs are varied both in their format and in their subjects, ranging from captures of ordinary life to portraiture, time-lapses, cityscapes and multi-faceted captures of single moments (e.g., a dive into the river captured in several long shots, then detailed high-speed photographs of the water splashes). 

- from distributors website




Takuma Nakahira


Takuma Nakahira, one of the most legendary photographers of post-war Japan and a life-long rival of Daido Moriyama. Overflow is the first photobook in which his installation work comes alive in entirety and detail since its unveiling in 1974.

Takuma Nakahira’s series ‘Overflow’ was originally presented as an installation during the 1974 exhibition ’Fifteen Photographers Today’ (National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo). The work consisted of 48 color photographs that were arranged on a wall 6 meters wide and 1.6 meters high. The photobook Overflow is the first chance to view Nakahira’s astonishing series outside the context of an exhibition.
The photographs show elements of a city — eery rifts in a space overflowing with objects, commodities and information — that Nakahira encountered and captured in his everyday life, from ivy creeping across walls and manhole covers in the streets to the tire of a large truck, from a pale-bellied shark floating in the transparent darkness behind the glass of an aquarium to close-up shots of a subway station.
The photobook’s layout strictly mimics each photo’s position in the installation piece in order to replicate the series’ original experience within the confines of a book. Additionally, Princeton University assistant professor Franz K. Prichard contributes an extensive essay in which he compares the Overflow series with Nakahira’s vision of an ‘illustrated dictionary’ (as outlined in Nakahira’s 1973 essay ‘Why an Illustrated Botanical Dictionary?’), thereby offering a deep exploration of Takuma Nakahira, who integrated praxis and theory in his work like no one else.

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Okinawa amami tokara 1974-78


Takuma Nakahira


Takuma NAKAHIRA. Born in Tokyo, 1938. Graduated from the Spanish Department of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Entered a publishing company where he worked for the magazine, Contemporary Eye. From the mid-1960s, began publishing many essays on photography and film in various magazines and around the same time started taking photographs. Co-founded a quarterly coterie magazine for photography, Provoke, subtitled “Provocative Materials for Thought” with Koji Taki, Yutaka Takanashi, and Takahiko Okada (Daido Moriyama contributed to the second and third issues). Provoke’s grainy, blurry and unfocused photographs moved away from established aesthetics and conventions to make a strong impact on the photographic scene in Japan at that time.

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Circulation, date, place, events


Takuma Nakahira


'Takuma Nakahira, who got his start in photography and criticism only around 1965, had by the end of that decade already become one of the most influential figures in contemporary culture in Japan. Nakahira’s incisive writing cut apart standing views in literature, film, politics, and especially photography, and he published both articles and photographs at a feverish rate.' 

Witkovsky, Matthew S. (2015). Aperture Magazine. 



So it goes, so it goes


Miho Kajioka


In this book, Kajioka presents a work relating to the concepts of time, memory and place. As in her previous works, “So It Goes, So It Goes” reveals intuitive images of fragments of daily life at different times. It was while reading Kurt Vonnegut's novel, ‘Slaughterhouse-five’, that Kajioka became really interested in this subject. Kajioka has long been fascinated by the chronology and meaning of events. According to her, photography captures moments and freezes them; posting impressions is like playing with the sense of time and getting lost in its timeline.

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Flowers bloom, butterflies come


Miho Kajioka


Kajioka, whose photographic practice is based on intuitive snapshots, utilizes her collected photography as the material from which she creates her poetic, multi-layered images. For “Flowers Bloom, Butterflies Come”, Kajioka and Observatories entered into an artistic dialogue with each other. Kajioka’s images – frozen moments, processed impressions, and instants filtered through long-established Japanese traditions of art and beauty – feature in a variety of ways, from full-page arrangement that seem like illustration-like scratchings to small, concentrated squares of focused meaning. Observatories’ soundtrack provides an aesthetically fitting soundtrack of melodic ambient works created using old synths and toy instruments.

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Japan Foundation

The Japan Foundation was established in 1972 by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and became an Independent Administrative Institution in 2003. They promote international cultural exchange between Japan and the rest of the world, and provide financial support for a range of international cultural exchange programmes. 

How to explore the collection

Browse the full collection of titles by dragging the selection box in the middle of this page. Clicking a title will take you to the relevant library catalogue page where the book can be located in the physical library using the Shelf Number.

Browse the full collection here.

Books created by a specific photographer can be found at 770.69 followed by the first three letters of the artists surname. (Books by Nobuyoshi Araki can be found at 770.69 ARA)

Collections on Japanese Photography can also be found at 770.952 

Collections on Japanese Art can be found at 709.52

Some titles are accessible as reference copies and can only be read within the Library.

Collection Team

The establishment of this collection was initiated by Dr Jelena Stojkoviċ, the author of Surrealism and Photography in 1930s Japan: The Impossible Avant-Garde and Lecturer in Photography (Critical Studies) at the Oxford Brookes University, with support from Dr Patti Gaal-Holmes, Senior Lecturer in Film Production, Valerie Lodge, Research Manager and Alan Turner, Subject Librarian.

If you have any questions or feedback about the collection, please contact