“The 90s – the years after the Bubble Economy had collapsed. The days when everyone was immersed in the aftermath, trying to ignore their anxieties.”
Takao Niikura’s photobook “Those Happy Days” is composed of photographs taken in Japan in the early to mid-1990s. Everything is here that a street photography book needs. Plenty of character, and plenty of characters, imbued by an almost haunting sentiment of loss and escapism. Niikura’s book captures a curious mix of foreboding stagnation, post-prime glitz, and waking up from the illusion that was the economic bubble. The book is filled with the strange charm of a day trip to a castle in the air, of a heavy carefreeness unique that must be unique to this period in time in Japan. “Those Happy Days” is as much a nostalgic look back at the past as it is a strong piece of work – and a brilliant, unrepeatable time capsule.