Documentary PhotographyPERFECT LIGHTCompelling Authentic Timeless

Daido Moriyama – Shinjuku+ & Osaka+

A quickie post of Daido Moriyama’s books Shinjuku+ and Osaka+.

Shinjuku+ by Moriyama is a reprint in paperback form of his 2001 book Shinjuku with about 40 additional pages of photographs (which explains the “plus” in the book’s title).  The book is printed full-bleed and is about 15cm x 11cm in size with 648 pages and features his street photography work in the Tokyo district of Shinjuku.  Osaka+ is kind of a companion volume to Shinjuku+ featuring his street photography work from the city of Osaka. It is also printed in the same format and size and features 488 pages of black and white photographs.

“Even though it wasn’t a town that I liked because I wanted to like it, or became obsessed with because I wanted to be obsessed with it, the town of Shinjuku has a strange narcotic effect, and there is something about it that traps me and puts me under a spell.” ~Daido Moriyama on Shinjuku

I personally enjoyed both books and as always find his work in some incomprehensible way very inspiring. Moriyama in a conversation with another famous Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki said, “I’m strictly into everyday stuff.” I guess the “everyday stuff” sticks with you. It is familiar and at the same time becomes foreign when translated into the medium of a photograph.

Photography is the act of fixing time, not of expressing the world. The camera is an inadequate tool for extracting a vision of the world or of beauty. The photographer who attempts to fit happily into the world by using the traditional perspective of the camera will end up falling into the hole of the idea he has dug for himself. Photography is a medium that only exists by momentarily fixing the discovery and cognition to be encountered in the ceaselessly moving exterior world.” ~Daido Moriyama

It was a really tough task to choose which images from the books to feature on this post. There were too many to choose from and I gave up in the end. On the other hand, I could not resist including a Ricoh GR1 series film camera in the photos of the books as they have been a tool of choice for Moriyama’s street photography.

[Note: Shinjuku+ and Osaka+ can be bought from Japan Exposures. I have no relationship with Japan Exposures but highly recommend them as they have always delivered excellent service when I used them. This article was first posted on The Invisible Photographer Asia on 7th September 2011.]