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January 2013
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2013, Jan 30
Talk event in Yokohama

I’m going to appear at the CP+ event in Yokohama on Saturday at 1:30, speaking with Mark Pearson of Zen Foto Gallery 1 on the topic of “The Appeal and Possibility of Japanese Photography, Seen From Abroad.” Information is available here 2, though the site (like the talk) is in Japanese.

今週の土曜日に、横浜のCP+で「日本人が知らない、海外から見た日本写真の魅力と可能性」というトークイベントを行います。詳しくはこちら 3。よろしくお願いします。



							

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2013, Jan 24
Translation note

I’m working hard to improve my reading ability, and I’m planning to translate more text here (or other places) as I finally become able to read text in Japanese. With that in mind I want to briefly explain something that came up in the Araki essay on Tomatsu I posted yesterday to American Photo 1.

Probably the strangest part of the essay is where Araki writes: “I was invited to the school as a teacher, though not to teach anything about mental thinking, just ‘finger thinking.'”

What’s happening here? Araki is making a joke. First, he says that he couldn’t teach “thought”: 思想, pronounced “shisou,” the combination of the characters for “think” and “thought.” Instead of “thought,” he taught something else, a made-up word: 指想, which is also pronounced “shisou,” but this is the combination of the characters for “finger” and “thought.” (Obviously he’s referring to pressing the shutter.)

Araki’s thinking is not a thinking-thinking; it’s a finger-thinking.



							

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Nobuyoshi Araki, Translation

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2013, Jan 21
Writers wanted

I’ve started to work in the editorial department of IMA, a new photography magazine here that I wrote about earlier 1. There isn’t a lot of room for writers to pitch stories, but if you are interested in writing about photography, or know someone who might be, send me an email. The magazine is only in Japanese, but your work would be translated.

By the way, we’re particularly interested in writers from outside the photography world.



							

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From mobile, IMA Magazine

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2013, Jan 17
End of writing

I wrote a post about why I wasn’t going to post any more writing here, but obviously it would make no sense to actually post it. From here on out, or for now at least, I will use this blog 1 to blog.



							

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2013, Jan 08
A few Japanese reactions to Shomei Tomatsu’s passing

Here some translations of reactions on Twitter to the sad news regarding Shomei Tomatsu. (The original Japanese is linked after.) Just one personal note: Tomatsu was given an incredible name for a photographer, as Shomei (照明) literally means “light,” as in “illumination.” His real name was actually Teruaki, but that’s just a different reading the same characters.

Kenji Takazawa, critic

Shomei Tomatsu. Definitely a great figure of post-war Japanese photography. I wish him happiness in the next world. [J 1] I have the still-fresh memory of reading an article in the September 2012 issue of Nihon Camera about a workshop in Okinawa that Tomatsu gave to young photographers on digital photography. The reporter was Keizo Kitajima. “He’s still got energy,” I even thought to myself. [J 2] Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Masahisa Fukase and Tomatsu all passed away last year. It’s a little trite to say, but it feels like the turning point of an age… [J 3]

Yuhki Touyama, photographer

I’m thinking about the seminar I went to 10 years ago in Okinawa. Glad I was able to go. [J 4]

Kiyoshi Inoue, photographer

Shomei Tomatsu has passed away. He was a photographer I greatly respected. He pursued the clear perception of the times and photographic expression. I only met him once, but I won’t forget his magnetism as a photographer.  [J 5]

Kyohei Sakaguchi, architect/writer

Shomei Tomatsu passed away… When I was in high school I wanted to be a photographer, so I was excited whenever I could see a photobook. After I came to Tokyo I saw “Oh! Shinjuku” in a library and was immediately even more excited. Yep, I originally wanted to be a photographer. I still have a photobook I made in high school, lol. But really, lol. [J 6]



							

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Shomei Tomatsu

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2013, Jan 08
Terrible thought

Tomatsu’s passing has elicited a significant response, both here and abroad. Among other things this gives me pause to wonder: Takuma Nakahira is also not well, but will he be lionized in the same way?


							

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From mobile

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2013, Jan 07
RIP Shomei Tomatsu

1930 – 2012

(This news was just announced today.)


							

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From mobile

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2013, Jan 06
For Osaka people

© Jun Abe

Jun Abe’s “Citizens” is on display in Osaka, at The Third Gallery Aya 1, through February 2.



							

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Jun Abe

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2013, Jan 05
If you’re around Japan

There are two must-see shows up: Kitai Kazuo at Syabi (Tokyo) and Lieko Shiga at the Sendai Mediatheque. That needs to be made clear!


							

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From mobile

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