Publisher: Yokohama: Ottos Books Company, 1976
Edition: 1st Edition
Condition: Fine / Fine
Item #: 107081
First edition, first printing. Hardcover. White paper-covered boards with title stamped in gold on spine, with photographically illustrated dust jacket and publisher's labeled, cardboard slipcase. Photographs by Hiromi Tsuchida. Text (in Japanese and English) by Goichi Matsunaga. Includes a list of plates and a chronology (both in Japanese and English). 232 pp., with 103 black-and-white plates. 9-3/4 x 10-5/8 inches. [Cited in Ryuichi Kaneko and Ivan Vartanian, Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and '70s. (New York: Aperture, 2009).]
Fine in Fine dust jacket and Near Fine slipcase.
Tsuchida's nearly anthropological examination of traditional, rural Japanese culture features the extraordinary vitality and expressiveness of ordinary people just struggling to go through life in a rapidly changing world that threatens to wipe away their individuality.
From the essay "Gods of the Earth," by Goichi Matsunaga: "The gods of the earth are alive today. They are doing their best, unabashedly, to expand their lives and [whether] eating, drinking or sleeping, to get more pleasure out of it than the next one. Making up their faces and defecating, visiting the shrine now and then on the way home from counting their money, buying cucumbers, scolding their children, buttering up the boss, going to the races, masturbating in broad daylight, picking off their fleas in the lockup...they are, you see, very busy. But these busy gods, unlike that handful of sacred people who live off other people's taxes, have to earn money to live. If it will earn them a living, there is nothing they will not do. They will do whatever humans are capable of, and all of that -- is human. Whether it is close to the animals' mode of life or far removed -- it is human. So here we have, for better or worse, a mass of human beings squirming, comically, tragically, in the last stage of capitalism (which does not show much promise of turning into socialism) on the islands of the easternmost part of Asia. The diverse expressions of the gods of the earth can still be seen today in Japan with all their tradition, and full of the vitality of their mixed origins. I cannot but wish them well."