Hiroshima 1945- 1979, by Hiromi Tsuchida


 

¥5,990

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Despite the less than great print quality, and the invariably poor quality of secondhand copies 35 years later, the Asahi Sonorama series of 27 photography monographs published between 1977 and 1980 remains sought after. Admittedly, Hiromi Tsuchida's entry -- his second book after his breakthrough Zokushin -- is less sought after than others, which is a shame because this is a very poignant book, one of several Tsuchida has devoted to Hiroshima and how its citizens have coped with having lived through the atomic bombing of 1945.

In this book Tsuchida focuses almost exclusively on Hiroshima citizens, unlike others where the focus has been on its buildings and cityscape. The book is made up of around 100 portraits, the subjects often being shot in their homes, occasionally at work, sometimes out on the streets. There are some families but for the most part the photos are of individuals. Each picture is accompanied by a caption (in Japanese only) which details either how old or what school grade they were in when the bomb hit (the vast majority were in elementary school), how far from the epicenter they were, and who in their family suffered injury or death as a result of the bombing. There is also a brief quotation from each survivor that is from the original 1951 book Children of the Atomic Blast that inspired Tsuchida.

Although Tsuchida's brief introduction and Toshiharu Ito's essay about the work is in Japanese only, there is an English text by famed series editor Akira Hasegawa which provides background and context, and translates a couple of the quotes from the 1951 book.

Condition: Good. Spine of dustcover shows some fading, as almost all these Sonorama series books show. Dustcover faded in spots as well, as well as yellowing. Corners of book stubbed. Top edge showing fairly strong evidence of foxing, fore edge less so. Interior pages in good condition and unaffected by edge foxing.

Hardcover, with dustcover. 22cm x 20.5cm, 120 pages, 107 b/w reproductions. Published by Asahi Sonorama, 1979.