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* Yutaka TAKANASHI "Toshi-e" - "Towards the City" 1974 Photobook


Availability: Out of stock

Yutaka TAKANASHI, photographer. "Toshi-e” - “Towards the City." Kohei SUGIURA, design. Gozo YOSHIMASU, text. Tokyo: Izara Shobo/Self-Published, 1974, First Edition, Clamshell case with printed label containing 2 volumes: Vol. 1: Clothbound with a convex aluminum disc on the front, 28 cm x 42 cm, 130 pp with gatefold, 63 b/w gravure plates; Vol. 2, “Note: Tokyo-Jin” - “Notebook: People of Tokyo”: Softbound, 18 cm x 26 cm, 128 pp, 54 b/w gravure plates plus illustrations.

"Toshi-e, by another of the original founders of Provoke, is the last and the most luxurious of the group`s books... Both aesthetically and spiritually, Takanashi’s photographs are close to those of Takuma Nakahira. They share a similar brooding lyricism and, like Nakahira, Takanashi is a landscape photographer at heart, exploring a comparable post-apocalyptic scene. The images exhibit the familiar Provoke gestural aesthetic, many of them look as if they were shot either speeding away from or towards the eponymous city, which we may read as the modern Japan. If Toshi-e marked the close of the Provoke era, it is perhaps fitting that it did so with the thoughtful pessimism of Takanashi. For many Japanese the 1960s had ended with an acquiescent whimper..., the big issue was not so much Americanization as Japan’s own economic miracle, and the cost the country paid for unbridled consumerism. Takanashi addresses this complex question with lyrical passion."--Parr & Badger, The Photobook: A History, Vol. I, p. 302.

“Opening the large, matte black box of Toshi-e reveals a similarly dark interior from which a slightly convex aluminum disc, embedded in the book’s front cover, gleams like the moon in the night sky. Tucked underneath the book is another, smaller volume, Note: Tokyo-Jin... Both books open vertically... The layout in both is simple and consistent, with one image per spread... The common traits end there, however; all else is a study in contrasts... Towards the City is an oversize clothbound affair printed in gravure. The lush printing evinces a quality of smoke and fog... The opening few pages show some indeterminate object.. Over a series of pages the same image gradually comes into view... Similarly, the book closes with a scene of a factory fading into darkness... In between, images of buildings and construction sites in the city center are mixed with images of fields and shorelines, natural demarcations of the urban outskirts. There is just enough overlap between certain images in the book to at once disorient us and draw our attention... Japan was becoming homogenized; as Takanashi points out in these images, all of Japan was becoming a city. Even the countryside... While Towards the City addresses a large global theme, Notebook: People of Tokyo is very local. Carrying the message that all of Japan is being homogenized, it also shows a simultaneous trend in which day-to-day life is gaining in depth. These images show a living Tokyo with many meanings and ways of life; Takanashi is not trying to explain or document Tokyo, but to portray a social landscape...”: Vartanian & Kaneko, Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and ‘70s, pp. 168-173.

Condition: Case has wear around the edges. The larger book is Very Good with only minimal wear to the silver disc, some of the usual foxing to the beginning and ending pages (these pages are a different quality paper than that of the images that seem to attract these spots over time as Japan’s humidity is trapped in the case. The smaller book is very good, no spots.

Shipping costs: International EMS (express mail service) delivery estimated within 2-4 days - $87.00 (USA), $98.00 (Europe). Shipping weight: approx. 4750g.