Tokyo East Waves


Tokyo East Waves


Publisher: Fugensha

Japanese photographer Mitsugu Ohnishi has been documenting the ongoing transformation of Tokyo's architectural and spiritual landscape since the 1970s. His new photobook “Tokyo East Waves” features three series (“Town at Estuary”, “New Around the Edges of Tokyo,” and “Newcoast”) that capture Japan’s capital from the height of the economic bubble in the mid-1980s to its sudden burst in the early 1990s.

Instead of the glamour, luxury and gaudiness, Ohnishi turned his attention to the humbler east side of Tokyo, where he was born and raised. Shot with a Makina 670 medium format camera using a variety of color films, Ohnishi’s photographs show the construction of new housing, as well as the almost hubristic relocation of riverbeds and large-scale land reclamation projects. In between, people continue to enjoy their daily lives, almost bewildered by the new possibilities afforded by advancing technology and Japan’s momentary prosperity. Ohnishi’s photographs today seem almost like images from an alternate universe; Tokyo at leisure, carefree and always covered by a clear blue sky.
“Tokyo East Waves” concludes with three short essays by Ken Ohyama, Hiromi Tsuchida, and the artist himself (all texts in English & Japanese).

“I now feel our thirst for the future back then – as reflected in those photographs – was just too ephemeral in many ways …
A sense of remorse is springing now on my mind, as I question if we were properly critical of the obvious transformation and inertia of the city of Tokyo.”
— from Mitsugu Ohnishi’s afterword

Keywords: Tokyo Snapshot


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Book Size
280 × 200 mm
144 pages
Publication Year
English, Japanese

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