Miyako Ishiuchi’s “Club & Courts Yokosuka Yokohama” consists of grainy, moody photographs taken in decaying amusement bars, entertainment clubs and other seedy places in Yokosuka and Yokohama. Shot in the 1970s and 1980s, Ishiuchi captures the lost glamour, the alluring air of the forbidden, the smell of sex but also the exploitation, horror and desperation of the post-war period that kept lingering somewhere within these ruins. Over time, Ishiuchi felt her hate turn into love and affection.
“In 1966, invited by a friend who was engaged to an American soldier, I visited the EM Club for the first time. The EM Club was an establishment that one could not enter unless accompanied by someone from the U.S. military. The three of us watched a movie, played the slot machines, and ate pizza at the restaurant. Despite the fact that I don’t remember what movie we saw, I do remember well the footage that showed just prior to the movie. The image which stirred such unease in me that it quite disturbed me was of the American flag, filling the entire screen, rippling. When the music began, the audience stood and saluted the screen.
Lately, I’ve begun to feel that the distaste I felt then, along with an awkwardness which was a new sensation to me, melded together in a mass of images and perhaps formed the energy that propelled me toward photography.”
― from Miyakoi Ishiuchi’s afterword (included in Japanese and in English translation)
All copies of “Club & Courts Yokosuka Yokohama” (originally published in 2007) sold by shashasha have been recently rediscovered by the artist in her own possession. All copies are signed.