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Shoji OTAKE "Janet" 1974 Photobook SIGNED

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Shoji OTAKE, photographer. "Janet." Japan: Nihon Kamera-sha, 1974, First Edition, PB, dj, 30 cm x 21 cm, ca. 180 pp, color & b/w photos.

Shoji OTAKE Bio: 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.

Otake was from an older generation than Shinoyama, Hosoe and Araki but mutual influences are evident. Much of the book will remind you of Shinoyama's Nude Portfolio and 28 Girls with its artfully distorted yet still ultra-fashionable nudes set in the panoramic desert vistas of the American southwest.

Condition: Very Good, binding is unbroken, jacket spine is faded. A very special copy of this book - Signed by Otake in a large full-page florid signature on the front endpaper and dated S. 49/4/7 ("S. 49" means "Showa 49" - 1974) - only a few days after the official publication date. Additionally there are promotional materials from the original exhibition associated with the book from 1974/4/5 - 17.

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