The 44th issue of Daido Moriyama’s long-running “Record” series features black-and-white photography taken in Tokyo’s Nakano district and other stations along the Chuo train line. This issue features photography taken before and during the early days of the corona virus pandemic and its effects on Japan. Accordingly, Moriyama’s photographs – portraits, signs, shop windows, details and snaps – capture the early days of Tokyo’s adapting to the “new normal”.
“[T]here were only few people in the streets, and most shops had their shutters down, so walking through these sceneries felt in a way like walking through open movie sets. This had a special kind of appeal by itself, so I went on clicking away as usual. And while doing so, one thing that I realized – or rather, that sank into my mind once again – during my careful observations was that, whenever something big happens, the whole world is turned upside down as easily as a flip of the hand.
As I usually go on my photo shooting sprees while mixing with the crowds in the city, I didn’t experience all that without a somewhat unsatisfying sense of bewilderment at first, but soon the photographer in me jumped up and declared that it was fine as it was, and that I should be capturing these things too, so in a way, my mind had flipped over as well. I guess this is how I responded to that glimpse of abnormality that had sneaked into my daily routine.” — from Daido Moriyama’s afterword (included in Japanese & English translation)