If Such be the Case, by Eri Tatara


Eri Tatara is a photographer in her 40s from Shizuoka -- two hours west of Tokyo -- who took up photography at the age of 26, and is currently an instructor at the Contemporary Photography Research Center, the school associated with the 50-year old Japan Realist Photographers Association. If Such be the Case is her second book, and comprises photos shot over a 12-year period in Fujieda and Yaizu City in Shizuoka.

From the photos, primarily of residents with the occasional landscape shot, it is clear that Tatara is someone familiar to the subjects, who often smile knowingly at her camera. The absence of a more gritty documentary approach, and the warm, buttery tone that suggests the photos were often taken during the twilight hour -- don't be misled by the book's curiously washed out cover -- do cause the book to run the risk of wearing its sentimental heart a bit too much on the sleeve, but in the end this familiarity, this nostalgia, is what gives the book its subtle strength.

Hardcover, 21cm x 29cm, 120 pages, 115 color reproductions. Limited printing of 700 copies.

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