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2014, Jun 20
End of PH

With other changes afoot, PH 1 (the online bookstore Andrew and I have been running for the past couple of years) will come to a close around the end of the month. We’re running a small sale; more information is up on Twitter 2. I would highly recommend the following books, based on their quality and their difficulty to acquire outside of Japan.


Shingo Kakita, Saddles 3 (¥1000, roughly $10 at today’s exchange rate)

I am a firm believer in Kakita’s abilities, and I would not be surprised if this goofy zine gets a proper book treatment down the road.

Ryudai Takano, Kasubaba 4 (¥6000)

I think I’ve gone on about Kasubaba a few times before, but I have no shame in saying once more that this book is a deliciously subversive take on the street snapshot, in which Takano pushes the genre to reach an uncomfortable apex of ugliness and banality. Kasubaba is love letter, of sorts, to Japan’s most soul-sucking spots.

Daisuke Yokota, Kazuo Yoshida, Masaru Eguchi, Ryo Fujimoto, MP1 Artist’s Book: Expanded Retina 5 (¥1500)

I’m not going to try to tell you that this book will become the Provoke of its generation, because that probably won’t happen. Still, MP1 is pretty much the only proper group to emerge from Japan’s current crop of young photographers, and that fact in itself—as well as English translations for every text here—makes this publication worthwhile.

Once the store is shut down, I think it will stay up as a way for people to at least have a glimpse of these books. In the time since we’ve opened, Shashasha 6 has emerged as another good option for buying Japanese books, and the original in the field, Japan Exposures 7, is still going strong. It also seems like foreign stores (online or otherwise) are carrying a broader range of Japanese books. Still, I’d like to think that PH offered a different take on the Japanese scene, and more than anything I hope that we were able to stimulate some people in other parts of the world. As with anything, I imagine we probably won’t find that out for years, if ever. In any case, thanks for all your support.



							

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2012, Sep 12
PH goes to New York

Things continue to move along at PH 1: we’re going to be participating in an event called “10×10 Japanese Photobooks Reading Room,” taking place at the same time as the NY Art Book Fair 2 in a space just across the street. This ICP 3-sponsored event is a room where you can look at a total of 100 photobooks selected by 10 “specialists.” That’s a title I thought I’d managed to shed forever, but…

In all seriousness, it looks like a worthwhile event, and I’m guessing that it will be the first time many of these books have ever been in the US. Here are the details:

10×10 Japanese Photobooks Reading Room 4
ICP – Bard MFA Studio Space
24-20 Jackson Avenue, 3rd Floor, Long Island City
(Across the street from MoMA PS1 and the New York Art Book Fair)
9/28 (Fri) through 9/30 (Sun), 3-9 pm
Opening reception: 9/28, 7-9 pm
FB Page, if you’re into that kind of thing 5

Edit: We won’t actually be there. (Just the books)

3
http://www.icp.org/research-center/library: It’s actually sponsored by the ICP Library, but when there are Big New York Names to drop, the particulars don’t matter, do they


							

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2012, Jul 04
PH, a new site for Japanese photography

A spread from Yuhki Touyama's book "Line13"

Andrew and I have been working for a while on PH, a website about Japanese photography. 1 PH is meant to help facilitate interaction between Japanese photographers and foreign audiences, so for the moment we are distributing photography books which would be otherwise difficult to acquire, either for reasons of sheer unavailability anywhere else online, or cost. The site is still being updated frequently, both in terms of content and structure, so please do check back every so often. (We also have a Twitter account 2 and mailing list 3, which we don’t plan to email often.)

So far we are already featuring a number of old Street Level Japan favorites, including Aya Fujioka’s “I Don’t Sleep,” 4 Kazuyoshi Usui’s “Showa88” 5 and Hiroshi Takizawa’s “A Rock of the Moon.” 6

The one thing I’ll crow about is the shipping mechanism for the site, which automatically calculates your shipping cost based on the total weight of your order (including the weight of the box required to ship the books you’ve chosen) and your country of residence, giving you either 2 or 3 possible shipping methods to choose from.

If you have any questions or comments about the site, don’t hesitate to ask.



							

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Aya Fujioka, Hiroshi Takizawa, Kazuyoshi Usui, PH

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