"During the 1960s and '70s in Japan, the photobook—through a combination of excellence in design, printing, and materials—overtook prints as a popular mode of artistic dissemination. This process has expanded to an extent where any discussion of Japanese photography now has to include the book. Today, the most famous works—such as Nobuyoshi ARAKI's 'Sentimental Journey' and Eikoh HOSOE's 'Man and Woman' - continue to inspire artists internationally.
'Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and '70s' presents forty definitive publications from the era, piecing together an otherwise invisible history. Included are some of the most influential works along with forgotten gems, placed within a larger sociological context. Each book, beautifully reproduced through numerous spreads, is accompanied by in-depth explanatory text highlighting important editors, designers, and themes. Lavishly produced, this unique publication is an ode to the distinct character and influence of the Japanese photobook. (publisher's note)
"I really can't add much to the glowing reviews of this book you can find on the eyecurious, nyartbeat, 5B4, Conscientious, freelibrary (from Afterimage), and newyorker Internet sites. Suffice it to say that if you like photography, especially artistic photography, especially artistic photography books, this is something you'll want on your shelf.
It's 9x12 inches and 240 pages of information and enjoyment. Ryuichi Kaneko in the 'Introduction' reflects on the personal impact of Japanese photobooks. Ivan VARTANIAN's essay 'The Japanese Photobook: Toward an Immediate Media' gives a great scholarly overview of the book's topic. An interview with famed photographer and photobook maker Daido MORIYAMA provides an interesting artist's perspective.
The body of the book describes 43 (by my count) Japanese photobooks. Space does not allow a complete listing here (for that, check out the ajapanesebook site), but among the books are Nobuyoshi ARAKI's 'Sentimental Journey', 'Okinawa: Araki Nobuyoshi Photobook 2', and 'Tokyo: Araki Nobuyoshi Photobook 3'; Ken DOMON's 'The Children Of Chikuho'; Masahisa FUKASE's 'Ravens'; Eikoh HOSOE's 'Man And Woman'; Yasuhiro ISHIMOTO's 'Someday, Somewhere'; Kawada KIKUJIs 'The Map'; Daido MORIYAMA's 'Japanese Theater'; Takuma NAKAHIRA's 'For A Language To Come'; and Yutaka TAKANASHI's 'Towards The City'.
For each book, you get a photo of the slipcase (if available) and of the front cover; a description of the book's publisher, size, method of printing, etc; a 1-2 page essay about the book; and photos of several page spreads. The page spread photos are high-quality and can be up to half the size of the book's pages, so they allow the reader to appreciate nuances of the photobooks." - "I definitely recommend it 2- I bought this book about 2 months ago while I was in Europe. I hesitated a bit as I was already having too much weight to travel back home and more books meant more weight which meant $$ to pay at the airport (which I was obliged to do).
But as I flipped through the book a couple of times trying to decide on whether to buy it or not, I just made up my mind, based on the beautiful images of beautiful books, the amount of text there and beautiful layout. This is not just a book filled with some nice reproductions of strong work, it's also informative and if this is something you feel interested about (Japanese photographers/photobooks) then this will be an enjoyable read. I knew of a few Japanese photographers before, but after buying this book (and I have only read parts of it so far) I know a lot more about photography in Japan in 1960s and 70s, and some of the amazing photographers still working today.
Of course a book about such subjects has to be beautifully laid-out. so as I said, it's both informative and eye-pleasing."
About the authors:
Ryuichi KANEKO is a curator at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and an expert on Japanese photography and Japanese photobooks.
Ivan VARTANIAN anthologized and translated 'Setting Sun: Writings by Japanese Photographers' (Aperture, 2006).
He lives in Tokyo and founded his own publishing imprint, Golige Books.
"Der Großformatige Band 'Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and '70s' ist DIE Einführung in die Welt japanischer Fotobücher und die Japanische Fotografie im Allgemeinen. 'Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and '70s' ist unerlässlich für das Verständnis der japanischen Fotografie von heute." (© Richard G. SPORLEDER)