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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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
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.