The Stone Buddha Carvings, Usuki, 1977
©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center
Water, 1998 ©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center
Tokyo, Yamanote-Line 29, 1981-85 ©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center
Ise, Naiku Shoden: Forked finials and wooden billets placed on the roof ridge, 1993 ©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center
The Gamble House, 1974
©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Architecture of Chicago, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

Chicago is for Ishimoto Yasuhiro a special kind of place, as the American city is where he spent his student years, and also where he shot the photographs that were subsequently published in his acclaimed book, Chicago, Chicago. In the fall of 1966, after having relocated to Japan, he had another opportunity to travel to Chicago for shootings for a special feature on “the Chicago school and its civilization historical background” in the architecture magazine SD*1. Ishimoto, whose scope of

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HANA

Part 1 Part 2

Kunisaki-kiko: Journey to the Kunisaki

  Part 1 Part 2  

HANA, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

Fascinated by flowers’ structure, with the slender stalk or peduncle supporting large petals, and by the wonders of nature itself, Ishimoto built a simple studio in the living room of his Tokyo home and began photographing flowers. That was in 1986. With a black board reflector and a flash unit set up in his living room, Ishimoto photographed flowers throughout their lifespans: from their buds’ opening to their wilting and drying up. He immediately decided to publish those images as

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Kunisaki-kiko: Journey to the Kunisaki, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

Located in the northeast of Oita Prefecture in Kyushu, the Kunisaki Peninsula protrudes into the sea in a shape that looks like a bowl turned upside down. This is where a unique hybrid religious culture called ”Rokugo-manzan (Mountain of Six Sanctuaries)” was formed in the Nara and Heian periods, incorporating the Usa Jingu Shrine’s traditional worship of Hachiman (Shintoism) into the Buddhist teachings that were brought to Japan from the Asian continent. Ishimoto Yasuhiro visited the region to work on

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Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 24

Things Uncertain Looking at the clouds and imagining all kinds of shapes is fun. Like a playful response to those shapes, the clouds have been given a variety of different names, but those in Ishimoto’s photos aren’t clouds that suggest any concrete kind of object. If anything, he chooses misty or abstract looking clouds. Ishimoto’s photographs seem to be casually framing instances of clouds as accumulations of microscopic water particles that drift along, gather, and disperse again in the sky;

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Color and Language

Part 1 Part 2  

Chicago, Chicago

No. 1-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-150 No. 151-200 No. 200-210

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 23

Ise Shrine A person from the Jingu Museum at the Ise Shrine that I met about two years ago told me that they were “busy with sengu related events.” Surprised to hear that sengu, the periodic reconstruction/relocation of the shrine, is just around the corner again, I checked and found out that the next sengu ceremony was indeed scheduled for 2013. That’s still a few years away, but since there are as many as thirty different events during the period

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Tokyo, Yamanote-Line

Part 1 Part 2  

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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Color and Language, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

The vivid color photographs created by the technique of multiple exposure represent a series that Ishimoto has dedicated himself to over half a century. Utilizing this method of projecting multiple images onto the same piece of film, Ishimoto combined the organic shapes of trees, and the straight lines of architectural constructions, with colors found at various places in the city. Different from the conventional method of photographing by focusing on a subject with a certain idea of the final picture

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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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Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Exhibition Chicago, Chicago

Having studied the concept and methodology of modern photography at the Institute of Design in Chicago after the war, Ishimoto Yasuhiro developed his own austere formative and compositional sensibility backed by the philosophy of Bauhaus style modern design, for which Kochi-raised Ishimoto became one of the most nationally and internationally renowned photographers in Japan. Ishimoto came back in Japan right after his graduation from ID, however he returned to Chicago and lived there again between 1959 and ’61. With those

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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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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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The Houses of California, Greene & Greene

Part 1 Part 2  

Tokyo, Yamanote-Line, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

Having been based in Tokyo since returning from Chicago in 1953, Ishimoto Yasuhiro continued to capture faces of society from within the neighborhood he was living in. In order to document the dramatic transformations of the mega city “Tokyo” on its way into the economic bubble of the 1980s, Ishimoto focused on the areas around the 29 stations of the Yamanote Line, for which he chose 8×10 inch large format film for its high resolution and plasticity. The resulting pictures

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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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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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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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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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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

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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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Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 12

The Beautiful Simplicity of the Katsura Imperial Villa The stage this time is Japan. One of Ishimoto’s most representative set of works is the Katsura series of photographs of the Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto. The airy rhythms that shoji screens and tatami mats create in the soft light; the multiple straight lines of the roofs’ edges; the modernist style expressed through lines and surfaces; the delicate arrangement of steppingstones… Encountering this set of photographs that highlight the appeal of

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Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 11

The Final Years in Chicago “Half a year after returning to America, Shigeru (Ishimoto’s wife) found employment at S.H. Mori’s gallery selling works of Japanese arts and crafts, while I started working as a photographer. With the Minolta SR1 over my shoulder, and usually about ten rolls of film in my pockets, I was crisscrossing the city of Chicago from one end to the other.” (Asahi Camera, 1962) During the second period of Ishimoto’s stay in Chicago between 1959 and

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The Houses of California, Greene & Greene, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

In 1974, Ishimoto Yasuhiro visited Pasadena, California, to take photographs of residential houses made by the American architects Greene & Greene. The brothers, Charles and Henry Greene designed a number of elegant timber-frame buildings incorporating aspects of Japanese architecture in the 1900s, which earned them a reputation as “the last and only stars” of the American Arts and Crafts movement. Just like in his previous pictures of the Katsura Imperial Villa, in his photographs of six residential buildings including the

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Shape

Part 1 Part 2  

The Exhibition Related Special Lecture – “The Spell of Japan in California: Greene & Greene Architecture and the Photography of Ishimoto Yasuhiro” by Edward “Ted” Bosley

The Exhibition Related Special Lecture The Spell of Japan in California: Greene & Greene Architecture and the Photography of Ishimoto Yasuhiro by Edward “Ted” Bosley Director, The Gamble House University of Southern California School of Architecture Presentation Summary: In 1912, Kenchiku Kogei Zasshi described the work of architects Charles and Henry Greene as “Japonesque.” The spell of Japan had been firmly planted in the hearts and minds of many American architects, including Greene & Greene and Frank Lloyd Wright, since

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Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 10

Chicago Snow Designs In the proliferating Japanese cities where architecture happens randomly and regardless of how a building integrates into its environment, and everyone puts up giant billboards for himself in order to stand out, urban planning is largely unrelated to aesthetic aspects. To the eyes of foreigners, the cities built on the principle of not adopting any principle seem to look rather interesting as uniquely novel Japanese urban landscapes. Even sceneries that are normally an eyesore naturally turn into

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Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 9

Codes in Photographs Grouped around two men in the center, the crowd in this picture hold their breath as they gaze at a certain point. The photograph is charged with a sense of tension that suggests that something is about to happen this very moment, whereas the massive pillar that marks the central element here pushes the tension further up. What is it that these men are staring at? A hint can be found painted on the pillar. As you

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Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 8

Lights and Shadows of Chicago The Ishimotos’ wedding anniversary was at the end of last month (October). As they married in 1954, they would have celebrated their golden wedding last year (2004). Matchmakers between the couple were ikebana artist Sofu Teshigawara and architect Kenzo Tange, and their wedding reception was held at the International House of Japan in Tokyo, organized by members of the Japan Design Committee of which Ishimoto was a founding member as well. The collection of private

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Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 7

Children at Halloween The photograph introduced in the previous installment of this series shows a girl playing at a park. The girl is tied to a tree, and to many it obviously looked as if she was being abused. Children are sometimes ruthless and cruel. It probably was some kind of game in which brave boys would free the captured heroine. Children’s games are changing with the times (in different ways depending on the country). Yasuhiro Ishimoto used to play

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Shape, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

The catalogue of Ishimoto Yasuhiro’s works includes photographs that just simply depict “objects.” Incorporating elements of texture in shapes defined by lines and surfaces, those pictures represent a fascinating part of Ishimoto’s work. One of the earliest products in Ishimoto’s photographing career is the “Shape” series, highlighting from a design point of view the unique textures and characteristic features of “typically Japanese shapes” given to Japanese traditional articles using porcelain, wood and lacquer. In the 1970s and ’80s, a time

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Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 6

Between Two Countries As this year (2005) marked the 60th anniversary of the end of the war, various media had put together special programs reviewing the war. NHK’s “Shin-Nichiyo Bijutsukan” (“Sunday Museum”) did a showcase of internationally renowned sculptor Isamu Noguchi’s work. The program shed light on the issue that his plans for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial were rejected for the simple reason that he was American. The cenotaph for the A-bomb victims was eventually made by Kenzo Tange, and

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Friends and Student Days in Chicago

Part 1 Part 2

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 5

North Avenue Beach One of the Chicagoans’ favorite leisure activities in summer is swimming in the lake. Chicago is located in the inland region and therefore remote from the seashore, so their beach is at Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes. Covering an area of 58,000km2 (about 90 times that of Lake Biwa), Lake Michigan is not only the sixth biggest lake in the world, but it also has beautiful sandy beaches. When standing on the lake’s edge,

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Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 4

Black People’s Quarters in Chicago Every year between June and August, Chicago turns into a stage for a variety of blues and jazz festivals such as the Chicago Blues Festival, the world’s biggest admission-free blues festival that has been attracting hordes of blues fans to the city. The event offers an extensive program of blues performed by musicians ranging from amateurs to professionals, and even though black music styles tend to be associated with the southern states, Chicago has turned

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Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 3

The New Bauhaus The Chicago Institute of Design (aka New Bauhaus) was established in Chicago in 1937. The faculty consisted of a number of leading figures in the realms of modern architecture and photography, such as photographers Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind, as well as architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Buckminster Fuller, creator of the Fuller Dome. Ishimoto studied here from 1948 until 1952. In addition to the Photography department, the New Bauhaus had Design, Architecture

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Reconstruction: Diogenes with a Camera V

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Friends and Student Days in Chicago, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

Having grown up in his parents’ hometown, after graduating from the local high school Ishimoto Tasuhiro left Japan for the USA, where he enrolled at the Chicago Institute of Design* to study photography. The curriculum based on the educational philosophy of the Bauhaus school began with classes teaching the basics and aesthetics behind creative work, which for Ishimoto meant not only studying the ideas and methods of modern photography, but also cultivating the formative sensibility that would constitute the bedrock

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Reconstruction: Diogenes with a Camera V, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

Having studied the concept and methodology of modern photography at the New Bauhaus*1 in Chicago after the war, Ishimoto Yasuhiro developed his own austere formative and compositional sensibility backed by the philosophy of Bauhaus style modern design, for which Kochi-raised Ishimoto became one of the most nationally and internationally renowned photographers in Japan. Ishimoto returned to Chicago and lived there again between 1959 and ’61. During these three years, he unveiled new works at exhibitions at The Art Institute of

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Portrait

Part 1 Part 2

Portrait, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

Having studied the concept and methodology of modern photography at the New Bauhaus*1 in Chicago after the war, Ishimoto Yasuhiro developed his own austere formative and compositional sensibility backed by the philosophy of Bauhaus style modern design, for which Kochi-raised Ishimoto became one of the most nationally and internationally renowned photographers in Japan. While claiming that he considered photographing people more difficult and trying than shooting other subjects, Ishimoto consciously turned toward portrait photography during the three years he lived

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Beach

Part 1 (Chicago) Part 2 (Enoshima / Kugenuma)   Beach, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition Date: 7, August – 29, November, 2015

Little Ones

Part 1 (Chicago) Part 2 (Tokyo)

Beach, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

Ishimoto Yasuhiro is a Kochi native photographer who has gained a worldwide reputation for creating works charged with exquisite formative sensibility and beautiful harmonies of black and white. After learning the basics of photography at the Institute of Design that was adopting the Bauhaus style in post-war Chicago, Ishimoto returned and settled down in Japan, but continued to photograph beach sceneries in both Japan and America. On display here is one representative series of works showing scenes of people gathering

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Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 2

Black Woman and White Baby In the terminal phase of World War II, Ishimoto left the Amache Japanese Internment Camp in Colorado, and found in Chicago the city where he chose to settle down. Before the end of the war, he was permitted to leave the camp, but it was still forbidden to go to the coastal areas. While Chicago, as I wrote in the previous part, is also called the “Windy City”, the State of Illinois where Chicago is

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Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 1

Chicago, The Windy City Ishimoto Yasuhiro is a leading Japanese photographer who captured cityscapes of Chicago and Tokyo, children, and the Japanese traditional architecture of the Katsura Imperial Villa and Ise Jingu Shrine, in photographs combining warmth and exacting picture composition. Following is a brief summary of his career that is intended to serve as a basic introduction for all those unfamiliar with Ishimoto Yasuhiro, and as a reminder for those familiar with his work. Ishimoto was born in 1921

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What a Wonderful World 3

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What a Wonderful World 2

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What a Wonderful World 1

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Little Ones, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

Ishimoto Yasuhiro is primarily known for his exquisitely structured, modern and intelligent photographic works as displayed in Katsura, a collection of pictures of the Katsura Imperial Villa that blends Japanese tradition and Western modernism. In his early career, however, he often chose children as his photographic subjects. Characterized by Ishimoto’s trademark picture composition, the results are lively depictions of children in the slums of Chicago that are populated by immigrants from various countries, and children playing in the back-alleys of

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Address

Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center The Museum of Art, Kochi 353-2 Takasu, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture, 781-8123 JAPAN TEL:+81-88-866-8000 FAX:+81-88-866-8008

Copyright

Use of copyrighted items At present, Kochi Prefecture owns the copyrights in Ishimoto Yasuhiro’s photographic works. If you wish to use a copyrighted item, please contact the information desk using the link below. Terms of Use Terms of Use for Mr. Ishimoto Yasuhiro’s Photographic Works[PDF] Price List Attachment Schedule(Re: Article 6) Royalties for Ishimoto Yasuhiro’s Photographic Works [PDF] Application Form No. 1 (Re: Article 2) Application for License [Word] Contact Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center, The Museum of Art, Kochi 353-2

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Collection

Ishimoto Collection (1) Prints (34,753 items) Japan (Tokyo, Expo, Tohoku, Matsuri, Hiroshima and others) / Chicago / Shape (Product, Study, Paper) / Utsuroi (Cans, Leaves, Clouds, Snow Steps, Flow of People) / 8 x 10 (Yamanote-Line 29 and others) / Katsura / Ise / Flower / Multi Exposure / Mandala / Portrait / Nude / Shibuya, Shibuya / Buddhist statue and others. (2) Motion-picture film “The Church on Maxwell Street” (3) Photographic film Film positives (55,609 items) Islam / Claude

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Profile

Ishimoto Yasuhiro Profile Born 1921 in San Francisco. Left the USA to relocate with his parents to their Japanese home province Kochi at the age of three. Graduated from Kochi Prefectural Agricultural High School in 1939. Returned to America in the same year, shortly before the Pacific War broke out and Ishimoto experienced life at an internment camp. After the war, he studied photographic techniques at the Institute of Design (also known as New Bauhaus) in Chicago, and further trained

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About

Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center The Museum of Art, Kochi At the occasion of the “Ishimoto Yasuhiro Shashinten 1946–2001″ retrospective exhibition held in 2001 at the Museum of Art, Kochi, internationally renowned photographer ISHIMOTO Yasuhiro (1921-2012) and his family donated a remarkable collection of Ishimoto’s works and materials, including approximately 30,000 prints and 150,000 sheets of film, as well as books, camera equipment and other items, to Kochi Prefecture, his parents’ home province. Based on experts’ opinions collected by way of

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Katsura Imperial Villa

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