I have been asked to make a selection of 10 Japanese photobooks for the 10x10 Japanese photobooks. Here is my statement for this, and my choice.
I love the pondering side of Japanese photography. Japanese photobooks are compilations of poems for me. Some poets are well known; some use light; some use nostalgia. I love the magic of Japanese photobooks —a magic that can only be encountered during a visit to Japan.
Shuichiro Shibata, Bus stop (Tokyo: Little More, 2010)
Bus stops are everywhere, especially in Japan, so it is an excuse for Shibata-san to make a portrait of the country. More pictures of the book here.
Tomomi Matsutani, 2010.3 (Self-published, 2010)
"Miss, it’s snowing !". The snow scene is my photographic magnet, too. So I felt very much attracted to this trip. More pictures of the book here.
Shingo Wakagi, T (Hamamatsu, Shizuoka: Young Tree Press, 2001)
An inventory of Shingo Wakagi’s grandfather’s tools. As the man was getting older, he had made his tools lighter so that he can use them for his farm-work. A great and simple lesson. All black and white.
Hiroshi Nomura, Exdora (Self-published, 2008 (reprint of 1991))
A xerox self-published book with a Japanese binding. See more pictures of the book here.
Shinichiro Kobayashi, American Twins (Magazine House, 1992)
What could be American photographs (theme, way to photograph, light…) but Japanese.
Daisaku Nishimiya, Hi mi tsu ki chi (Tokyo: Shogakukan, 2009)
Photographs of children huts in Tokyo. See more pictures here.
Orie Ichihashi, Paris (Tokyo: PIE books, 2011)
The very first time I’m being surprised with Paris photographs. My city. I love it again through Ichibashi’s eyes. See more pictures of the book here.
Masafumi Sanai, Ikiteiru (Seigensha, 1997)
A book Pierre brought me from a Tokyo trip, Sanai-san quickly became one of my favorite Japanese photographers. More pictures of the book here. More Masafumi Sanai books there.
Katsumi Omori, Bonjour (Tokyo: Match and co, 2010)
An (unfocused) rabbit story. More pictures of the book here.
Syoin Kajii, Nami (Tokyo: Foil, 2007)
Photographs or Japanese water prints? I got this book signed from Syoin Kajii, a Buddhist monk in the Paris Photo fair.
More details about the ICP Library Reading room, live 28-30 September 12, with 100 photobooks selected by 10 specialists there, and the online “space” with another 100 books chosen by online specialists.