I, Tokyo

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Edition Braus, 2018. First German edition.
Hardcover, 225 x 320 mm, 112 pp., 73 b/w illustrations. 
Photographs and text by Jacob Aue Sobol.

Winner of the Leica European Publishers Award 2008

I came to Tokyo for the first time in the spring of 2006. My girlfriend Sara had got a job there, and so I decided to move with her to explore the city in which she had grown up. It was a society I had never experienced before, one of which I had little knowledge, and to which I had no real sense of attachment.

Though Tokyo and its people seemed unreachable, I felt drawn to the tight and confined reality of the metropolis. My feeling of isolation and loneliness was overwhelming – it was something I had to find a way to change. And so I began taking my pocket camera out with me on the streets and in the parks. Rather than focusing on the impressively tall buildings and the eternal swarm of people, I began searching for the narrow paths and the individual human presence in the city that felt both attractive and repulsive at the same time. I wanted to meet the people, to get involved in the city, to make Tokyo mine.

The pictures in this book are a recording of what I saw and the people I met during the following eighteen months.

Jacob Aue Sobol

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