KIMURA, Shohachi and SUZUKI, Yoshikazu. Ginza Kaiwai and Ginza Haccho.

(Tokyo): Toho-Shuppan, 1954. First Editions. Two volumes. Small square quartos. The hitherto unknown Japanese precursor to Every Building on Sunset Strip, predating Ruscha by twelve years, and constituting either one of the greatest photobook coincidences of the 20th century, or a direct influence of historic
proportions. Ginza Kaiwai (Around Ginza), the larger of the two volumes, was edited by Japanese writer and artist Shohachi Kimura. This main volume consists of a de facto history of Ginza, with text, hand drawn maps, anecdotes, colour Hiroshige wood blocks, and three lovely photographs by Yoshikatsu Kanno. The slimmer volume, Ginza Haccho, is an accordion foldout book documenting every building on Ginza in nearly the exact same style as Ruscha would later document Sunset Strip. The photographer of this volume, Yoshikazu Suzuki, is completely unknown in Japan. He photographed from November 1953 to Spring 1954,
trying to capture the buildings and streets of Ginza at the same time of day, and in similar weather conditions. The images, therefore, are
not only presented in the same exact format as Ruscha, but they also share a similar monotony of tone and colour. This work has remained nearly completely unknown in Japan and the west. Ginza Kaiwai shows a little light foxing, else near fine in boards, glassine, and original slipcase. Ginza Haccho is near fine or better in printed boards. Both volumes are laid into the original publisher’s cardboard box.


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