Title: Watanabe Katsumi : Gangs of Kabukicho
Publisher: PPP Editions / Andrew Roth Inc., Tokyo - New York
Publication Date: 2006
Binding: Wraps with Dustjacket
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good
Edition: First Edition.
(clx). Profusely illustrated in b/w. Introductory essay by Lizawa Kotaro. Selection of street photography by Watanabe Katsumi (1941-2006) taken in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo in the 1960s and 1970s. Bilingual English/Japanese text. Internally clean without marks or additions. Sound binding. Illustrated wraps are protected by printed clear plastic dustjacket. Slight surface wear from shelving and slight curl beginning at the head corners otherwise in near fine condition. (.875 g. / 1.93 lbs.) Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 010761
Synopsis: The subjects of itinerant Tokyo portrait photographer Watanabe Katsumi's 1960s and 70s photographs are the prostitutes, street people, drag queens, entertainers and gangsters (Yakuza) that populated Kabukicho, the red-light district of Shinjuku, at night during that era. Watanabe made his living by selling these photographs to his subjects, offering three prints for 200 yen. A modest gentleman, Watanabe had a keen sensitivity to the natural posturing of his subjects, which allowed them to uninhibitedly reveal their identities. He saw Kabukicho as a stage, and his photographs document the performers. To accompany the photographs collected in this volume, which borrows its title from Watanabe's first book, The Gangs of Shinjuku, published in 1973, Iizawa Kotaro, who wrote the noted essay "The Evolution of Postwar Photography," in Anne Tucker's essential study, The History of Japanese Photography, chronicles the history of Shinjuku and offers a biography of Watanabe, who died last year at the age of 67.
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