UNKNOWN JAPANESE PHOTOGRAPHER (1950s].)
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55 original photographs, measuring 24,5x18,5cm or larger, loosely monted on black boards, very good condition. N.p., n.d. [but Okinawa, ca.
An extremely interesting collection of professional photographs of Okinawa in the early phases of the American occupation. Okinawan infrastructure was devastated in the later stages of WWII, especially destructive was the Battle of Okinawa of 1945, in which more human life was lost than in both the atomic bombings combined. The redevelopment of Okinawa under the Occupation was slow to begin with, but accelerated significantly during the Cold War, in particular after the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. The present collection oscillates between modernity and timelessness in its depiction of aspects of life in Okinawa during this period. They show newly built houses and other buildings, piles of bricks and timbers, and scaffolding either appearing boldly in the foreground, or subtly in the background. There is one particularly striking image of workers resurfacing a road, the motion captured and depth of contrast creates a wonderful photo. The Occupation itself is also shown - through Okinawan conscripts in the U.S. military, a plane flying over the heads of villagers, a military vehicle blocking a road, or a mother and baby looking out to the nearby U.S. air base from their home. The majority of the images focus on the lives of the Okinawans in various industries - fishing, agriculture, or in the various hubs of activity, such as the markets. In an environment we know to be developing, and can see is modernising in terms of garb and housing, many of the photographs express a certain timelessness. The rawness and honesty captured in the photographs, as well as the significance of the historical moment they were captured in, makes this a fascinating collection.
Stock Code: 200925