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 the extent where any discussion of Japanese photography now has to include work in book form. 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 (Aperture, September 2009) presents forty definitive publications from the era, piecing together an otherwise invisible history that has played out in tandem with photography as a medium. Included are some of the most influential works along with forgotten gems, placed within a larger historical and sociological context. Each book, beautifully reproduced through numerous spreads, is accompanied by an in-depth explanatory text and sidebars highlighting important editors, designers, themes, and periodicals. Lavishly produced, this unique publication is an ode to the distinct character and influence of the Japanese photobook.
Select titles by: Nobuyoshi Araki, Ken Domon, Masahisa Fukase, Hiroshi Hamaya, Eikoh Hosoe, Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Miyako Ishiuchi, Kikuji Kawada, Keizo Kitajima, Kineo Kuwabara, Yoichi Midorikawa, Daido Moriyama, Takuma Nakahira, Ikko Narahara, Yasuzo Nojima, Kishin Shinoyama, Shomei Tomatsu, Hiromi Tsuchida, and others.
IVAN VARTANIAN (editor and essays) anthologized and translated Setting Sun: Writings by Japanese Photographers (Aperture, 2006).
RYUICHI KANEKO (essay) is a curator at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and an expert on Japanese photography and Japanese photobooks.
9 x 12 in. (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
240 pages ca. 400 four-color and duotone images
Hardcover with bellyband
Aperture—located in New York’s Chelsea art district—is a world-renowned non-profit publisher and exhibition space dedicated to promoting photography in all its forms. Aperture was founded in 1952 by photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan, and Minor White; historian Beaumont Newhall; and writer/curator Nancy Newhall, among others. These visionaries created a new quarterly periodical, Aperture magazine, to foster both the development and the appreciation of the photographic medium and its practitioners. In the 1960s, Aperture expanded to include the publication of books (over five hundred to date) that comprise one of the most comprehensive and innovative libraries in the history of photography and art. Aperture’s programs now include artist lectures and panel discussions, limited-edition photographs, and traveling exhibitions that show at major museums and arts institutions in the U.S. and internationally.