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.
Among the photographers: 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.
RYUICHI KANEKO (essay) is a curator at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and an expert on Japanese photography and Japanese photobooks.
IVAN VARTANIAN (editor and essays) anthologized and translated Setting Sun: Writings by Japanese Photographers (Aperture, 2006). He is the founder of his own publishing imprint Golige Books, and lives in Tokyo.