It is the unusual yet not entirely out-of-place views and landscapes of Japan’s rural areas that Japanese photographer Ichiro Kikuchi shares in his photobook “The Familiar Strange,” published after a hiatus of eight years. Finding his locations “40% by research, 60% by random chance,” Kikuchi’s persistence and curiosity lead him to scenes of understated remarkability, never quite too strange yet still peculiar and striking, an effect often aided by Kikuchi’s framing and use of color.
“The spaces depicted in this book may seem strange to the viewer of today, but to the inhabitants of the area, they are all common and familiar, with no distinctive meaning. They are spaces that only take on meaning in the context of the unfamiliar gaze that is draw in from without.”
― from Susumu Terada’s afterword (included in Japanese and in English translation)