Water, 1998 ©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 22

The Artistic Beauty of the Meguro River Can you imagine that this is the water surface of a river? Even after being told that it’s a shot of the Meguro River, to me it looks like a modern ink painting. The Meguro River is a river in urban Tokyo that crosses the Meguro and Shinagawa wards before arriving at Tokyo Bay. “The water downstream is dirty and black, but that’s actually what makes it look beautiful in photographs. When photographing

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Tokyo, Yamanote-Line 29, 1981-85 ©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 21

Around the Yamanote-Line, Tokyo   The cat that poses at a 45-degree angle while looking straight at the camera makes a pretty good model. With its dignified presence it almost looks like the owner of this fruit and vegetable shop, while comparing it with the kuroneko (black cat) symbol of a certain delivery service on the fluttering banner on the left makes one laugh. This photo was shot on 8 x 10 inch film with a large format camera. 8

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Oga Peninsula, Akita, 1963 ©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 20

Magazine Work There is an almost prayer-like silence surrounding the worker that humbly lowers her gaze as she puts her hoe down to the ground. The layered texture of the slope in the background, the handle of the hoe, and the striped pattern together project a moderate evenness, while the dots on the apron add a soft accent. When looking at this photograph, Ishimoto always admires the woman’s appearance. “People used to dress like this back in the day, very

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Tokyo, Child, 1953-57 from "Someday Somewhere" ©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 19

Someday Somewhere I took my slightly belated summer vacation recently and went to France. There was no particular purpose other than seeing Marc Chagall’s stained glass at the Reims Cathedral, and Chapelle Foujita, so the plan was to just ”take my time and stroll through the pretty streets.” But then, out of the blue came the news that Yasuhiro Ishimoto was having a one-man exhibition at a gallery in Paris, so I added the desire to ”see that by all

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Gojinjo-daiko, Wajima, c. 1963 ©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 18

Japanese Festivals Once the Yosakoi Festival that annually adds some color to the summer in Kochi is over, so is the peak of the summer heat, and the city slows down to its laid-back daily routine. Initially launched with the aim to enliven the local shopping district, the festival is held for the 53rd time this year (2006). In addition to the obvious religious festivals dedicated to the gods and ancestors, there are quite a few Japanese festivals with community-building

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Tokyo, Town, 1953 ©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 17

Individual Realism “This is in front of Wako in Ginza. Just when I was about to shoot the vagrant kind of man in the back, a soldier of the Allied Occupation forces and a prostitute passed by, so I released the shutter in that moment. It was in the winter, at 4 or 5 in the afternoon I think.” 50 years ago, there was no sign of the pomp and glory that the Ginza district is known for today. Many

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Hinomaru, 1963 ©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 16

Hinomaru Sceneries With European teams including that of host country Germany advancing to the semifinals, the soccer world cup is exciting enthusiasm around the world. I watched one of the “Zico Japan” team’s matches on TV, earnestly from players taking to the field to the end, but they unfortunately dropped out at the group stage. When the national anthems were played prior to the match, I was fairly surprised to hear “Kimigayo” (Japanese national anthem) reverberate across the stadium, as

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Tokyo, Town, 1963-70 ©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 15

“The Course of Nature” and “Thorough Pursuit” After returning to Japan from his second stay in Chicago, Ishimoto began to teach at the Tokyo College of Photography and Tokyo Zokei University among others, while continuing to roam his everyday life environments in the Tokyo and Fujisawa areas, and observe people’s daily activities, just like he used to do back in Chicago. Even without particularly dramatic happenings, there are minute shifts that instantly occur in the otherwise largely static everyday, and

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Color and Form, 1995 ©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 14

Color and Form Overlapping The multi-exposure work of Color and Form that this part is about has been gracing the cover of the Takenaka Corporation’s in-house magazine Approach for a long time. By capturing the beautiful silhouettes of trees, superimposing architectural structures and other manmade elements, and occasionally adding shots of sketchbooks with painted pictures, Ishimoto has created a set of playful photographs. Preferring the tight air in the winter, he mainly did such multi-exposure work in that time of year.

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Mandala, 1973 ©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 13

The Eros of Abstinence The “Mandalas of the Two Worlds” is a set of two mandalas – the “Taizokai (Womb World) Mandala” and the “Kongokai (Diamond World) Mandala” – that are kept at the Kyoo Gokoku-ji (To-ji) temple in Kyoto. Each of the two mandalas measures about 180 x 150 cm. Depicted on canvases the size of a grown-up man with his arms stretched out is the world of Dainichi Nyorai (Vairocana), the personification of absolute existence in esoteric Buddhism,

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