This is my second copy of Tsuchida sensei’s Counting Grains of Sand. I didn’t really need two, and at the regular price wouldn’t have bought another one. After seeing it repeatedly at the same used bookshop in Shimokitazawa for about 4 months at 2000 yen I figured that is no one else was going to take advantage of this deal I might as well give it a good home. I think I’ll do a review of it sometime.
This is a very, very rare book indeed. It was one of the few books I brought with me to Japan in 2004. It’s a course reader compiled by my photo professor in Nebraska in 1984 (I was in kindergarten) for his History of Photography class and was one of many books left on a table for interested students when he retired in 2003. It is old-school xerox copies of photo theory articles, reviews of then-contemporty exhibitions, all sorts of Szarkowski pieces, and a glorious 8 page interview with Garry Winogrand from Art Forum in 1977 that I haven’t been able to find online anywhere else. One article on Friedlander makes some good points, but only at the expense of having to wade through some chewy art-talk text.
There is some interesting stuff in that picture but quickly accessible, it isn’t.
Showa 11 by Kineo Kuwabara. This is definitely something I want to share on this blog. At the severe expense of sounding all “hipster” I’m just going to have to say that (puts on large plasticky glasses) he is one of the greatest street photographers ever but you’ve probably never heard of him. (throws glasses across room) And this is not at all good for anyone interested in street photography. Kuwabara was roaming around Tokyo with his Leica in the mid 1930s creating a portrait of this city which is as far as I know, unmatched by nearly anyone else at that time and rarely if ever bettered as a collection of photos of the city since.
The book outside of its cardboard case:
Open it up and. . .
WHAT’S THIS? Funny thing about this particular copy- the first page (my bibliophila is not to the level that I know what it is actually called) is a bit stiff. In fact, if you aren’t careful you will miss it and go straight to the title page. Which is what I think the clerks at Genkido in Jimbocho must have done since this isn’t a rare book (nearly every used photobook shop in the area has a copy) but the fact that is was signed by Mr. Kuwabara is something special indeed. This copy was 6000 yen and another unsigned copy I saw later that night was 5000 yen. Maybe his signature is only worth 1000 yen though. Either way, it is a fine book and Kuwabara is important for anyone shooting in Tokyo to be cognizant of.
This is just a shot of the photobook selection at a shop whose name I always forget. It’s behind Rathole gallery at the end of this red-bricked street and red-bricked buildings full of shops selling High Fashion clothes. It’s all imported photobooks which means they are all twice what you’ll see them for on Amazon. I don’t usually purchase things here but their “damaged” cart can be fruitful from time to time. I picked up Friedlander’s Family for about thirty dollars a few years ago, and the Eggleston Whitney catalogue for the same price. Both had been dropped and suffered some slight impact damage to the spine or front cover corner. Insides? Pefrect. God Bless that employee and their buttery fingers.
OHHhhh YES. (goes over and picks up large plastic glasses, puts them back on. Squeezes into tight and pink American Appy pants and a howling wolf shirt, cranks up Arcade Fire) You’ve probably never heard of this, either. Yeah, It’s pretty rare. It’s pretty hardcore. (tosses nerdy shirt, pants, glasses, MP3 player out the window. Shudders, puts on regular non-ironic nerd clothes) Funny thing- I saw this book in a shop in Jimbocho and while I couldn’t begin to afford what they were asking (it was signed. They actually checked) after getting home I scoured the internet for images from this book to share because it is totally worth sharing with people interested in Japan, Tokyo, and Photography. All of Naito’s books are super expensive but I got a deal on this at So Books (my favorite bookshop in Tokyo.) and plan on getting a little crazy with a review of it here sometime soon. It deserves some internet representation. Oh man. (puts on grumpy old man beard) What is up with books today? Masatoshi Naito’s Tokyo was shot over 10 years from 1975 and was published in 1985. No one is shooting or publishing anything half as good as this book is today. And they haven’t for a long time now. This book, my friends, this book is amazing.
Apologies for having a post about photobooks but not showing any pictures of the photos in said books. I do plan on reviewing each over the next few weeks, complete with more pictures of their insides than is probably socially acceptable.