A comprehensive visual encyclopedia of postwar Japanese photography
In four chapters, the massive “History of Contemporary Japanese Photography 1945-95” provides a visual overview of Japan’s postwar photography world. The first chapter examines the fifty years between 1945 and ’95 through documentary photography; chapter two takes a look at the works of 49 photographers (among them Shomei Tomatsu, Ken Domon, Shoji Ueda, Daido Moriyama, Nobuyoshi Araki, Eikoh Hosoe, and Hiroshi Sugimoto) to illustrate the constantly expanding limits of photographic expression; chapter three (“A Melange of Subjects & Expressions”) captures the spirit of these fifty years through a selection of photographs; and chapter four offers texts explaining cultural aspects of Japanese photography after the war, like camera magazines, museums, galleries, cameras, and photobooks. The book ends with a detailed chronology that embeds various data and events into a historical context, as well as biographical texts on all included photographers.
In total, the book provides a comprehensive overview of the development, the achievements, and sheer wealth of Japan’s photography world in the postwar years, featuring more than 890 photographs by 400 photographers.
While several short texts (such as chapter introductions) are provided with English translation, the majority of writing (e.g., the chronologies and historical texts) is only available in Japanese.