While looking through Nobuyoshi Araki’s Pseudo Diary (bottom) I saw an image of an event that looked familiar. Sure enough on page 68, plate 52 of Hiromi Tsuchida’s Counting Grains of Sand 1976-1989(top) one can find a similar picture of a crowd with the same white bucket hats and Nikons.
Although some of the background details are a little different, both are from a similar vantage point- Araki left a bit of the stage in his frame. This detail helps anchor the image in the manner of his “I Photography” diaristic approach of which this book is a part of:
Now for the fun (?) part. Tsuchida’s image has a simple note of location and date below the picture which says: 稲城 1981 (Inagi 1981). At the rear of the book there is a list of titles for each plate. This picture’s full title is 撮影大会、稲城 １９８１年 (Photo Convention, Inagi 1981).
Araki’s picture has a date imprint reading “80 6 1″- June 1st 1980.
Counting Grains of Sand has enjoys larger images and a little bit better printing quality than Pseudo Diary does. Closer inspection of an amateur cameraman’s bucket hat suggests that this was an event either announcing or promoting the Nikon F3, which was released in Japan in March of 1980:
For what it’s worth, we can guess that these stylish hats were not white but instead Nikon Yellow. I tried googling to see if any online sellers had even a picture of one available, but apparently not. What I DID find was a blog entry about a Nikon Photo Convention in 2006 which included a shot of with some yellow hats in it.
Whether the event was in 1980 or 1981 isn’t that important- – it is funny though that Araki has numerous times written that messes with the date imprint function on purpose between frames of film. I am pretty sure though that both men went to this event together on the same bus. A few years ago at Tsuchida’s home he handed me a few contact sheet albums to look through. One which I handled had a few sheets/rolls from what I guess was this very Nikon sponsored outing. In addition to his photo above remember seeing some pictures of Araki hamming it up with a woman for Tsuchida’s camera. Must have been a fun time.
What’s the point of this post?
Hell if I know.
Photobooks are often revered for their rarity and value or print quality- that’s fine but I think they are best enjoyed on your own terms for whatever kicks you get out of them.
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Lachlan Young sent me a pic he from David Douglas Duncan's book Photo Nomad taken at the exact same event. DDD’s caption states that this was in 1980.