Tatsuki Masaru’s Tohoku won the Kimura Ihei award a couple of weeks ago. Good for whoever made the decision, for an award that in recent years has usually gone to something a lot prettier and less interesting. Tohoku is one of the best of some recent books on the area hit almost a year ago by the big earthquake. Few of the books presenting photographs of its aftermath have been particularly interesting, but there’s also been a subgenre of books showing what has been lost: last year, Onaka Kōji’s pleasant if overpriced Umimachi (signed copies here, sample photos visible and for sale here), probably others that I haven’t noticed, and recently Ichikawa Katsuhiro’s Fukushima.
Here’s Fukushima together with some books of quite unrelated subject matter: Koga Eriko’s Asakusa Zenzai and Arif Aşçı’s İstanbul Panorama to get an idea of the size, and Dodo Arata’s Taigan, which today also serves as paperweight (but deserves better). Read the rest of this entry »
When Dan Abbe invited me to contribute my list of the top ten of 2011 to the 2011 street level eyecurious Japanese photobook extravaganza blowout, I was flattered but nonplussed. It was easy to come up with ten I liked, but hard to come up with more than three that thrilled (and of which no more than one was by any one photographer). Thinking that I might have forgotten this or that masterpiece and wanting to jog my memory, I took a quick look at the website of every photobook publisher I could think of. No, no masterpiece there that I’d forgotten — but there was word of a book I’d never seen but that looked good: Asakusa Zenzai (浅草善哉), by Koga Eriko (古賀絵里子). Read the rest of this entry »