Daido Moriyama – Shinjuku+ and Osaka+

Derrick Choo Craft & Tools, Reviews, Street Photography 13 Comments

Shinjuku+ by Moriyama is a reprint in paperback form of his 2001 book Shinjuku with about 40 additional pages of photographs (which explains the “plus” in the book’s title). The book is printed full-bleed and is about 15cm x 11cm in size with 648 pages and features his street photography work in the Tokyo district of Shinjuku. Osaka+ is kind of a companion volume to Shinjuku+ featuring his street photography work from the city of Osaka. It is also printed in the same format and size and features 488 pages of black and white photographs.

“Even though it wasn’t a town that I liked because I wanted to like it, or became obsessed with because I wanted to be obsessed with it, the town of Shinjuku has a strange narcotic effect, and there is something about it that traps me and puts me under a spell.” ~Daido Moriyama on Shinjuku

I personally enjoyed both books and as always find his work in some incomprehensible way very inspiring. Moriyama in a conversation with another famous Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki said, “I’m strictly into everyday stuff.” I guess the “everyday stuff” sticks with you. It is familiar and at the same time becomes foreign when translated into the medium of a photograph.

Photography is the act of fixing time, not of expressing the world. The camera is an inadequate tool for extracting a vision of the world or of beauty. The photographer who attempts to fit happily into the world by using the traditional perspective of the camera will end up falling into the hole of the idea he has dug for himself. Photography is a medium that only exists by momentarily fixing the discovery and cognition to be encountered in the ceaselessly moving exterior world.” ~Daido Moriyama

It was a really tough task to choose which images from the books to feature on this post. There were too many to choose from and I gave up in the end. On the other hand, I could not resist including a Ricoh GR1 series film camera in the photos of the books as they have been a tool of choice for Moriyama’s street photography.

[Note: Shinjuku+ and Osaka+ can be bought from Japan Exposures. I have no relationship with Japan Exposures but highly recommend them as they have always delivered excellent service when I used them.]

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Comments 13

  1. There don’t seem to be many online bookstores specializing in Japanese photography books besides Japan Exposures. The shipping fees are kinda high as you mentioned. You can send them an enquiry to check if there are any other cheaper shipping options available. It is all based on the weight of the parcel when it comes to international shipping. Cheapest shipping option so far is if you happen to be in Japan or have friends who happen to be visiting Japan who can bring the books back for you. When i visited in April this year, i arranged with them to mail the books I ordered to the last hotel that I was staying at. Shipping was only around US$10 for about 5 books i ordered (2 were quite large).

    1. Thanks Derrick, for that awesomely helpful reply! I probably will opt for the SAL shipping option, but before that, as you have suggested, I will drop them an email to inquire about cheaper shipping options.

      Actually, I was in Tokyo last month – dropped by the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography for two exhibitions. Hiroh Kikai’s Tokyo Portraits exhibition was mind-blowing! I actually stopped by the museum shop and bought two books; glimpsed through the Daido Moriyama selection but didn’t get any because I was rushing off to somewhere else. Now that you have recommended these two books, I think I will get them to kickstart my DM collection :)

  2. Awesome! Looking to procure the books! Anyway, the shipping fees are a tad on the high side though. Which do you recommend?

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