Eyes of an Island

© Shomei Tomatsu
Shomei Tomatsu, Untitled, Tokyo, 1969. From the series Protest. © Shomei Tomatsu

Intrigued by Japanese photographers? Bewildered by how they see things? Then Marc Feustel’s Eyes of an Island may interest you. Christmas may be over but the end of the year means that your birthday would be coming soon. =) Lens culture has got an excerpt of the book here. The book traces the development of photography in Japan since WWII, looking at many influential photographers.

This brief overview of some of Japan’s leading photographers during the last 50 years shows that it is not possible to point to a single style of Japanese photography. Photographic approaches have varied widely, from Hamaya’s post-war humanist studies to Moriyama’s experiments with photography to convey the impact of personal experience.

The premise of the book sure sounds interesting, I would love to flip through it when it arrives at the bookstores here. I hope that the book doesn’t suffer from over-generalization or sweeping views, often associated with books on art/photography history. I guess with the myriad of photographic styles coming from Japan, it would be almost impossible to place a defining stamp on it.