I‘m sure some will accuse me of stoking the panic fire of “order now or regret later”, but I’m going to use that gambit here because with all four books I’m introducing in this post, we’re talking of items where the stock is very low and basically, once they’re gone, they are gone. Two of them are over 10 years old, one is gone from shops in Japan, and one is a catalog published earlier this year that we have in limited supply.
A couple of weeks ago I saw the Michael Kenna book discussed below pop up on eBay for $150 (it has since come down to something more reasonable), and it made me realize that more people need to know about the fact that we are carrying some of these titles that — even after shipping is factored in — are very reasonably priced. But beyond saving money or grabbing a collectible before the price shoots up, all four below are books well worth having for what we’re hopefully all here for, the photography. I have to confess, our stock on each is one copy less because I had to grab a copy of all four for myself!
Ikko Narahara, Fifteen Thousand Nights
Published in 1994 by Mole, this is a slim, wonderfully printed, 20-page book collecting work done over the course of Ikko Narahara’s career up to then (1958 – 1990), bound together by the fact that all the photos in the book were taken at night. Has a brief afterword by Narahara in English. Published 15 years ago, but these are brand NEW copies that look like they came off the press yesterday.
Michael Kenna, In Hokkaido (Update: Sold Out!)
This new publication produced to coincide with Michael Kenna’s exhibition at the Kushiro Art Museum in Hokkaido brings together 50 photographs of Michael Kenna’s growing body of work produced in Hokkaido over the last 7 years, including several photos taken earlier this year. Afterword by Daido Moriyama (available in English). This was published in August in a print run of 1,200 copies. There may be a 2nd printing later this year, but no confirmation on that. (Communication with this publisher leaves something to be desired, to be honest.)
To be sure, we are not the only place you can get this title, but I dare say you’ll be hard-pressed to find it for cheaper than the approximate $55 we’ve got it for.
Michio Yamauchi, Street Cats (Update: Sold Out!)
This was published as part of the “Mole Unit” series of small, magazine like publications issued by Mole during the 1990s that featured Osamu Kanemura, Mitsugu Onishi, Akihide Tamura among others. This particular issue is No. 8 and was published in 1999. Cats are a well-worn subject for any Japanese photographer from your Lomo enthusiast to Araki, but very few will present them the way that Yamauchi does. Along with Hong Kong (1997), this now represents perhaps the hardest Yamauchi to find for those completists (like myself!) who can never get enough Yamauchi.
Yasuhiro Ishimoto, multi exposure Exhibition Catalogue
This is a beautifully-produced exhibition catalog for an exhibition of Yasuhiro Ishimoto’s multiple exposure work that was held at the Musashino Art University Museum & Library in May-June, 2009. The work is presented in a wonderful accordian style of connected pages (see the photos in the bookstore), and includes a booklet with three essays (in both Japanese and English) on Ishimoto’s work and career. Irrespective of the photography and peoples’ taste in that regard, this Ishimoto catalog will I think appeal to book lovers the most out of the four presented here (with the possible exception of the Kenna). I have a few books done in this accordian style (Masato Seto’s The Living Room and a wonderful facsimile book of Hiroshige prints done by the Metropolitan Museum of Art are two I treasure) and it really is a wonderful way to look at the work, and not nearly as inconvenient as it might seem at first glance. The inclusion of three different essays on Ishimoto’s career in English translation, including a nice overview of his time in Chicago, is icing on the cake.