Kage 翳 (Shadows)
- Kage 翳 (Shadows)
Photobook, first edition, one of a limited private edition of 150 copies, contains 38 photographic plates. In original slipcase.
- Published in: Tokyo
- Height: 26.3 centimetres (cover)
- Width: 18.4 centimetres (cover)
- Height: 27 centimetres (slipcase)
- Width: 18.8 centimetres (slipcase)
Shortly after graduation in 1943 Akiyama sold all his photographic equipment in order to publish the present book in a limited edition of 150 copies. The printing costs amounted to Yen 1000 - the price of a cheap house in Tokyo at the time - and although the imprint states that it was not for sale (possibly for tax reasons) Akiyama priced it at Yen 7.5. The war loomed large and he was afraid that he might die without leaving a trace. He was drafted into the army and spent the war years in China. Throughout his military service he carried a copy of this book with him. It includes the famous image entitled 'Abandoning a Cat' an extraordinary photo that Akiyama had submitted to a competition by the Japan Photographic Society. The title of the book 'Shadows' refers to the famous work by Tanizaki Junichirō entitled: 'In Praise of Shadows'. Akiyama is clearly influenced by pictorialists like Fukuhara Shinzō, and the present work is regarded as his greatest achievement. The book is dedicated to his Mother and it includes introductions by Inamura Takamasa, Yokoi Eitarō, and Murai Tōru.
The photobook is an extraordinary testament to the artistic vision and personal commitment of the photographer during the privations of the war period. The work was beautifully produced in a small private edition of 150 and it is unlikely that more than maybe ten copies have survived. (T. Clark, 9/2012)
In 2002 the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography staged a retrospective exhibition of Akiyama’s works. The whole opening section of the exhibition was devoted to images from the ‘Kage’ collection of 1940-43.
See Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, eds., Yūsha sanmai – Akiyama Shōtarō no shashin bigaku, 2002, pp. 5-16.
2012 Oct - 2013 Apr, BM, Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present'
Credit Line: Purchase funded by JTI Japanese Acquisition Fund
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Object reference number: JCF23106
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