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Kazuo Kenmochi: Narcotic Photographic Document (with slipcase and obi)

Publisher: Tokyo: Inoue Shoten, 1963
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: Hardcover
Condition: Near Fine / Near Fine
Item #: 113123



First edition, first printing. Hardcover. Buff cloth-covered boards with title stamped in black on the spine; with photographically illustrated dust jacket. Photographs and text (in Japanese) by Kazuo Kenmochi. 160 pp., profusely illustrated with black-and-white plates. 10-3/8 x 7-1/2 inches.

[Cited in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History, Volume III. (London and New York: Phaidon, 2014)].


Near Fine (bump to crown of spine) in Near Fine dust jacket (moderate rubbing), with original publisher's printed cardboard slipcase and printed obi.


Predating the much better well-known work of Larry Clark and Nan Goldin, Kenmochi's books presents a no less gritty and unflinching visual and textual document of the Japanese drug culture in the early 1960s. At times Kenmochi's photographs of people procuring illegal drugs read as ordinary street photography, at other times he presents viewers with dizzying views of the users' increasingly desperate habits. Surveillance-type photographs mimic detective movies, and finally, the narrative concludes with the abject situations of arrest and imprisonment. The remarkably affective book concludes with a lengthy essay accompanied by illustrations, maps, charts, and statistics.