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Shoji OTAKE "Sekai no ongakuka" - "World Musicians" 1955 Photobook

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Shoji OTAKE, photographer. "Sekai no ongakuka" - "World Musicians." Japan: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1955, First Edition, HB, dj, as issued, 31 cm x 22 cm, 100 pp, b/w photos.

This rare book was the basis for Volume 18 in the famed Sonorama Shashin Sensho Series of Great Japanese Photography. The Sonorama series included works from almost every great name in Japanese Photography including Eikoh Hosoe, Hajime Sawatari, Nobuyoshi Araki, Diado Moriyama, Masahisa Fukase, Ikko Narahara, Masaya Nakamura, Shoji Ueda, Kikuji Kawada, and more. Though prized as all of the Sonorama titles are, this original 1955 book, Otake's first in a long career that included both portraits and nudes, is far rarer. This first edition also includes the dates and places in Japan where the photos took place. Musicians included in this book: Gerhard Husch, Joseph Rosenstock, Leonid Kreutzer, Joseph Szigeti, The De Paur Infantry Chorus, Germaine Leroux, Alfred Cortot, Helmut Heller, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Yehudi Menuhin, Erna Berger, Raymond Gallois-Montbrun, Genevieve Joy & Raymond Gallois-Montbrun, Wilhelm Backhaus, Nicola Rucci, Pierre Fournier, Maryse Damia, Manfred Gurlitt, Walter Gieseking, Marian Anderson, Kurt Woss, Jean Martinon, Julius Katchen, Helen Traubel, Max Egger, Isaac Stern, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Jascha Heifetz, Ludwid Holscher, Wilhelm Kempf, Janine Andrade, Arrigo Pola, Solomon, Herbert von Karajan, Lazare Levy, Niklaus Aeschbacher, David Oistrakh, Josephine Baker.

Shoji OTAKE Biography: Born in 1920 in Shizuoka Prefecture. He went to Shanghai in 1940 and became a member of the Peking Embassy photo staff in 1944. After the war he worked briefly for GHQ's public relations dept. before becoming a freelance photographer in 1948. He specialized in taking portraits, in particular of women and musicians and became famous for his photographs of American singers and actresses performing at the Ernie Pyle Theatre in Tokyo. This theatre had been requisitioned by GHQ after the war to entertain troops and very few Japanese were allowed to enter. In 1949 he was a co-founder of the Young Photographers Association (Seinen Shashinka Kyokai) as well as a founding member of Nikakai Photography Section in 1953 and Gine Gruppe in 1956. His first book 'World Musicians' (sekai no ongakuka) was published in 1955 by Asahi Shimbunsha. From the 1950s through the 1970s, Otake was on of the top photographers of women in Japan. For five years from 1971, Otake photographed housewives and "OL (Office Lady)" nudes (sometimes together with their families) on Nippon Television; this work too was later collected into books. By the 1980s, Otake's fame and commercial success as a portraitist and photographer of nudes had eclipsed his earlier and very different work. Besides photography, Otake has also worked as television screenwriter and an essayist. As a photographer, he has remained active in his late 80s.

Condition: Good, with slipcase.

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