RIVER: ITS SHADOW OF SHADOWS, BY MORINAGA JUN
MORINAGA, Jun. River: Its Shadow of Shadows. Tokyo: Yugensha, 1978. Quarto, original full beige cloth, original photographic slipcase, original shipping box. $1800.
First edition, with more than 90 black-and-white photogravures, and an Introduction by W. Eugene Smith.
Morinaga worked as W. Eugene Smith’s assistant in Japan from 1961-1962, and in his introduction to this work, Smith says: “The photographs in this book contain no actual human beings. Yet, to me, these photographs hauntingly seethe with undercurrents of the damnation factors of our times… To appreciate them the viewer must break any narrowness of traditional recognitions…It is an experience worth the effort…There are few photographs that profoundly move me, that change my life. Jun Morinaga's photographs did both…. Many months after Jun was working with me, he sat on the floor and we tried to converse. He spoke that ‘You are the master, what can I do to improve my photographs?’ And I replied with all the sincerity of my being-‘In what you do you are the master-I only wish I could photograph as well.” From 1960-1963, Morinaga photographed the vanishing rivers of Tokyo, drawing out their beauty in the midst of their rapidly approaching destruction due to urbanization. In this, he combines the traditional Japanese aesthetic appreciation of rivers with the modern demands of progress. Text in Japanese.
A fine copy.