Tokyo: Toho-Shuppan, (1954). First Edition. Hardcover. 2 volume set. Square 8vos. Lacking publisher's original cardboard box. Volume one: In original decorative paper-covered slipcase, with paper labels affixed to front and spine. Cream paper-cover boards with gilt-stamped spine. Dark-gold paper label mounted on front cover. Toned at spine. 334pp. Volume two: Accordion-bound green boards, toned and lightly scuffed along edges. Some rippling and toning to endpapers. Very faint foxing to a few pages, otherwise unmarked. Both volumes very good plus. Very good +. Item #21956
Two-volume set documenting the history and architecture of Tokyo's Ginza district. Text in Japanese. The first volume, GINZA KAIWAI, edited by Shohachi Kimura, contains a detailed history of Ginza, and is llustrated throughout with line drawings, hand-drawn maps, photographs by Yoshikatsu Kanno, and two spectacular woodblock prints bu Hiroshige.
The second volume, GINZA HACCHO, is a slim accordion photobook with Yoshikazu Suzuki's technically stunning black-and-white panorama of Tokyo's Ginza district, with a seamless composite image (created from over 200 photographs) running along the top and bottom of each panel. Uncannily similar in design and conception to Ed Ruscha's EVERY BUILDING ON THE SUNSET STRIP, which GINZA predates by twelve years. While the influence on Ruscha's seminal work remains unacknowledged, "the result is astonishing" (VARIOUS SMALL BOOKS pp. 30-33).
Once claimed to be a great rarity, high prices (as high prices are wont to do) have since flushed out copies. We've traced some half dozen complete copies in trade in as many years, with at least as many in various states of completion over the same period. And with several currently on the market, we'd struggle to even describe this at this point as uncommon. Nevertheless, a fascinating publication that rightly gets "photobook aficionados purring in appreciation and speculating over a certain question" (Parr & Badger III p. 152).