“ALL CREPT OVER WITH ERRORS AND FAULTS… I’M LEARNING—GENE”: FIRST EDITION OF W. EUGENE SMITH’S JAPAN, WONDERFULLY INSCRIBED PRESENTATION COPY
SMITH, W. Eugene. Japan… a Chapter of Image. (Tokyo: Toppan Printing Co., 1963). Large quarto, original blue paper boards. $3000.
First edition of this photographic essay on Japan’s industrialization, inscribed by W. Eugene Smith on the title page: “To Jim, Well, here this one is—all crept over with errors and faults, and a few passable things, I’m learning.—Gene.”
From 1961-1962, W. Eugene Smith worked for Hitachi Corporation in Japan, ostensibly to document the company’s activities. Instead, Smith created this photo essay that emphasizes the impact of rapid industrialization on Japanese laborers. This was Smith’s first exposure to the theme that he would build upon 10 years later in his poignant work about mercury poisoning in Minamata, Japan. In this essay, Smith includes for the first time the phrase that would later become closely identified with his work and artistic philosophy, and was chosen as the title of the famous 1970 retrospective of his photographs: “Let truth be the prejudice.”
Only very slight sunning and minor wear to extremities of boards, small tape repair to front board. Photographs lovely and fine. An extremely good copy.