Collection online

Tokyo Suburbia

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Tokyo Suburbia
  • Description

    Photobook. One volume. First edition. 49 double-page plates with 64 images. Together with a separately printed 20pp. leaflet in English and Japanese with explanations to the plates.

  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 1998
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Curator's comments

    Homma Takashi was born in 1962 in Tokyo. He started his career as an advertising and fashion photographer, particularly for teenagers. The present book is his fifth publication and it won him the 24th Kimura Ihei Prize. The plates are printed on thick cardboard similar to a children's book for a two-year old. Homma travelled to various suburbs around Tokyo but most of the images centre on Shin-Urayasu and Makuhari Bay Town in Chiba, as well as Kohoku New Town in Kanagawa. There is something vacant, antiseptic, and cold in these images. There is no emotion either from the side of the photographer or from the subject, and the individuals do not appear to be part of society. Do these images simply show the dehumanizing effect of life in suburbia? The leaflet contains two essays, one by the architect Kaijima Momoyo (who describes the images as anti-systemic and anti-moralizing "the average suburban environment captured in each frame is surprisingly familiar in its banality" and "Neither affirming or negating but focusing an everything in a neutral way."). The other essay is by the sociologist Miyadai Shinji who surprisingly enough discusses the famous Sakakibara incident (where a teenager decapitated a younger boy) in terms of "cool or not cool". Only one copy in OCLC. (Titus Boeder, 4/07)


  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    2008, Jun-Aug, BM G3, 'Reflecting on Modern Japan'
    2009, 18 Feb-15 Jun, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from prehistory to present'

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • PB.62 (Photobook number)

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Object reference number: JCF16181

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