Modern Photography in Japan 1915-1940 by Kaneko Ryuichi & Deborah Klochko
Modern Photography in Japan 1915-1940
by Kaneko Ryuichi & Deborah Klochko

The works of prominent Japanese photographers from the past 100 years are now highly collectible. Connoisseurs of photobooks have become familiar with names like Eikoh Hosoe, Kikuji Kawada, and particularly Nobuyoshi Araki and Daido Moriyama.

Araki has been prolific over the decades but critics have accused him of veering into pornography. Lady Gaga was one of his more recent subjects. AbeBooks has sold more than 20 of his photobooks for prices in excess of £300.

Moriyama is famous for grainy black and white photography illustrating how traditional values have eroded in Japan since the end of World War II. Moriyama’s limited edition book (300 copies) about Buenos Aires has been popular with collectors – a number of copies have sold for between £300 and £500 on AbeBooks.

Hiroshi Sugimoto is another Japanese photographer to have captured the interest of collectors in the West. AbeBooks has sold several copies of Sugimoto’s Theaters – a surreal book that shows the interiors of cinemas - for £1,150 each.

Japanese photography has gone through various creative periods – the photobooks of the post-World War II era, the 1960s and the 1970s were particularly pioneering.

Selection of Collectable Japanese Photobooks

Kamaitachi by Eikoh Hosoe
Kamaitachi
by Eikoh Hosoe

The original 1969 publication was a collaboration between Hosoe and dancer Tasumi Hijikata.
Self Life Death by Nobuyoshi Araki
Self Life Death
by Nobuyoshi Araki

An overview of Araki's career featuring 1,200 photos.
A Fine Day by Kishin Shinoyama
A Fine Day
by Kishin Shinoyama

Full colour photos of activities, people and locations in 1974 Japan.
Children in Chikuho by Ken Domon
Children in Chikuho
by Ken Domon

A documentary describing the life of coal miners – first published in 1960.
One by Ken Ohara
One
by Ken Ohara

500 black and white portraits taken on the streets of New York.
Someday Somewhere by Yasuhiro Ishimoto
Someday Somewhere
by Yasuhiro Ishimoto

A cross-cultural book of images shot in Tokyo and Chicago.
Early Summer Nerves by Kiyoshi Koishi
Early Summer Nerves
by Kiyoshi Koishi

Limited edition of 100 numbered copies – pioneering ‘new wave’ photos from 1933.
Killed by Roses by Eikoh Hosoe
Killed by Roses
by Eikoh Hosoe

An unusual series of photos depicting author Yukio Mishima in his garden.
Buenos Aires by Daido Moriyama
Buenos Aires
by Daido Moriyama

Just 300 copies – black and white downbeat images from Argentina.
Chicago, Chicago by Yasuhiro Ishimoto
Chicago, Chicago
by Yasuhiro Ishimoto

Formal urban landscapes and street portraits.
Hiroshima by Ken Domon & Shomei Tomatsu
Hiroshima
by Ken Domon & Shomei Tomatsu

Photographs reflecting the aftermath of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.
Hunter by Daido Moriyama
Hunter
by Daido Moriyama

An important piece of social commentary - women, children, cars, horizons and animals.
Pari by Ihei Kimura
Pari
by Ihei Kimura

First publisher in 1974, a unique illustration of the French capital.
Towards the City by Yutaka Takanashi
Towards the City
by Yutaka Takanashi

Two-volume set of avant-garde photography.
Ravens by Masahisa Fukase
Ravens
by Masahisa Fukase

A stark series of images of ravens in grim environments.
Waterfall Rapture Postcards of Falling Water by Tadanori Yokoo
Waterfall Rapture Postcards of Falling Water
by Tadanori Yokoo

Pages and pages filled with photos in postcard format.
Theaters by Hiroshi Sugimoto
Theaters
by Hiroshi Sugimoto

A surreal book of the interiors of cinemas and drive-in movie theatres.
Taiji Matsue by Taiji Matsue
Taiji Matsue
by Taiji Matsue

Photos of Iran, Arizona, Costa Rica, the Sahara and the Andes, Tasmania, New Mexico.
Utatane by Rinko Kawauchi
Utatane
by Rinko Kawauchi

Photos of everyday life - clouds, a curtain, a tire, fried eggs, a grandfather, a butterfly.
Spider’s Strategy by Osamu Kanemura
Spider’s Strategy
by Osamu Kanemura

Photos of Tokyo’s infrastructure taken while the photographer was on his paper round.
To the Village by Kazuo Kitai
To the Village
by Kazuo Kitai

Photos documenting a disappearing way of life in rural, 1970’s Japan.
Liquid Dreams by Mika Ninagawa
Liquid Dreams
by Mika Ninagawa

Hypnotic images of fish in an aquarium.
The History of Japanese Photography by Anne Wilkes Tucker et al
The History of Japanese Photography
by Anne Wilkes Tucker et al

Published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts in 2003.
Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and ‘70s by Ryuichi Kaneko & Ivan Vartanian
Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and ‘70s
by Ryuichi Kaneko & Ivan Vartanian

A showcase of 40 definitive publications from these decades.
American America by Hiroshi Hamaya
American America
by Hiroshi Hamaya

American life as photographed by a Japanese master in 1967.

 

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