Abattoir

Abattoir

Seiichi MOTOHASHI

Publisher: Heibonsha

New edition

Seiichi Motohashi’s series “Abattoir” is a rare record of the daily routines of a Japanese slaughterhouse, taken at a time when the work of killing and dismembering animals was still done by hand.

Motohashi took these photographs at a slaughterhouse in Matsubara in Osaka. While most of his black and white photographs show cows – alive or slaughtered – the focus is on the workers. Motohashi follows their work, showing the cows being led into the slaughterhouse, the various tools being used, making the viewer part of the moment when a worker kills a cow with a captive bolt gun, detailing the tasks that follow (skinning the carcasses, cutting up the meat, loading trucks, cleaning the slaughterhouse, etc.), photographing the exhausted workers taking breaks. Despite the social stigma of slaughterhouses in Japan, Motohashi photographed the workers without prejudice, yet still captured the nature of their daily work.
“Abattoir” also includes a foreword by Seiichi Motohashi and an essay by Satoshi Kamata (in Japanese & English).

“At present, in Japan and other developed countries where food is abundant, machines and electricity and gas are commonly used to slaughter animals for food, and people no longer kill them with their own hands. Other animals risk their lives for the sake of acquiring food. Human beings should at least slaughter other animals for food by their own hands. That is a basic courtesy toward the animals …
We used to deal with lives and deaths of people and animals just as part of things happening in everyday life, but lives and deaths have now become obscured as if covered in a thin veil.”
― from Seiichi Motohashi’s foreword

Keywords: Osaka

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Book Size
264 × 197 mm
Pages
128 pages
Binding
Hardcover
Publication Year
2021
Language
English, Japanese
ISBN
978-4-582278-38-5

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