On Feb 17th, 2012, Masaru Tatsuki (田附勝) was given 37th Kimura Ihei Award with his photobook “Tohoku (東北) “. Before introducing Tatsuki’s work, let me introduce this popular photographic award in Japan.
The cover shot by Takashi Homma.
I was struggling how to explain the Kimura Ihei Award in English but found it in wiki. Saved my precious time. Thank you.
The Kimura Ihei Award (木村伊兵衛写真賞) is a Japanese photographic award that attracts the attention of the mass media and book-buyers.
The award has been given every year since 1975 (except 1983) by the Asahi Shimbun Company, publisher of Asahi Shimbun and the magazine Asahi Camera, in honor of the photographer Ihei Kimura. It is given to one or more new photographers whose work has been exhibited or published during the previous year and is announced in the April issue of Asahi Camera
This explanation might not be enough to understand it. But there is a good book that retrospects the 30 years, since 1975, of this award. Let’s have a peek.
1975 Kazuo Kitai (北井一夫）, He photographed Japanese villages. I introduced a photobook at the same era. Please check.
What was going on in 1970′s anyway? After the war, we already built Tokyo Tower in 50′s, Bullet train started to run in 60′s. Japan was still economically growing so fast in 70′s. The first McDonald in Ginza in 1971, winter Olympic in Hokkaido in 1972, oil crisis in 1973 (everybody rushed stores to buy toilet papers. I know a man who still has stock that he bought in the year), in 1979, Sony released Walkman. Not as radical as 60′s provoke era, but still very wild.
Back to the award. 1976 Taira Koushichi (平良考七) photographed the people and culture in the islands of Okinawa prefecture (very south tropical islands. Most popular destination for beach resort in Japan), Taira was actually born and lived there. The first two photographers chased vernacular things.
1977 Shinya Fujiwara (藤原新也). After quitting Tokyo University of Arts in 1969, he went to travel Asia and Europe for 12 years. He was one of the most famous photographers/travel writers (he got rid of his image of “traveler” later on). I personally backpacked Asian countries in late 90′s and found his books at every cheap guest house I stayed. He later became one of the judges of this award.
1978 Miyako Ishiuchi (石内都). Her work titled “Apartment”. No explanation needed for her?
1979 Seiji Kurata’s “Street PhotoRandom Tokyo 75 – 79″. He participated Daido Moriyama’s workshop in 1976.
There is one more photographer in 1979, Mitsuaki Iwago (岩合光昭). Probably the most famous animal photographer in Japan. His works have been used on the cover image of National Geographic Magazine several times.
As you see, all of the works utilizes documentary style in a way.
Stay tuned for 80′s.
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