Normally I don’t feel like taking photo book titles too seriously, but in this case I was not really sure whether my understanding of the word to ramble was correct. Indeed, it can be interpreted as talking a long walk for pleasure or to walk or go from one place to another place without a specific goal, clear purpose, or direction.
I also have spent many hours, if not days, taking long walks in various Japanese cities taking photographs. The photo walk is a common activity and popular in Japan. The goal was to take photos of people in the streets going on about their daily business. Taking photos this way is surely pleasurable and even more so it is to find that you have taken interesting photographs that are worth showing to others. You go into the darkroom or work on the computer and do your processing, crank up contrast and the intensity of your pictures. You think of the next place that you could go or travel to, to take more photos. But the thought that keeps lingering in my mind is the second meaning of the ramble. The lack of goal, purpose or direction. Not that these are necessary all of the time. Still, it somewhat leaves a void and the thought that perhaps the rambler is not privileged, but condemned to ramble, and the photographs may bear witness to this.
Takehiko Nakafuji has been traveling the world and documenting it for nearly 20 years. The following photographs come from his latest work, STREET RAMBLER, which sees Nakafuji in such diverse places as Cuba, New York, Paris, Russia, Shanghai, Berlin, and his native Tokyo.
STREET RAMBLER is available in the Japan Exposures Book Shop.