Nippon - various photographers

Japan: The Nation in Motion
Ken Domon, Masao Horino, Ihei Kimura, a.o., 1938
stiff paper boards, leporello unpaginated, photographs in sheet-fed gravure pages
Publisher: Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai
Dimensions: 277 x 307 mm

An excellent example of propoganda photography before the Second World War is this elaborate leporello-book 'Nippon: The Nation in Motion', that was published in 1938 as international promotion to enhance foreign understanding of Japan. The book is designed by Goro Kumada of Nippon Kobo (Japan Studio - an agency for photojournalism) and has an accordian-fold format. The photographs are an montage of stock photos from Nippon Kobo and KBS (Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai; Japan Cultural Society, an extra-governmental foundation, affiliated with the Foreign Ministery), taken by Natori, Kimura, Watanabe, Domon and others. Scenes of the Diet, the military, farming and fishing, modern industry, and the daily lives of women unfold as digests across 33 faces. KBS produced the book with funds from the Army and Navy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and information offices. There are short, printed captions in English, German and French.

Parr & Badger have stated in their 'The Photobook: A History' that "In all, Nippon demonstrates a fascinating blend of innovation and tradition, and is arguably the highpoint of both the Japanese propaganda and the modernist photobook".

(p 139, 150 - 155; The Japanese Photobook 1912-1990, Manfred Heiting & Ryuichi Kaneko, Steidl, 2017 and p.178, The Photobook: A History - Vol.I, Martin Parr & Gerry Badger, Phaidon, 2004)


The copy available is in very good condition; only a fold on the first page (see second photo)


stock number: AB091

stiff paper boards, leporello
Nippon - various photographers: Japan: The Nation in Motion
€ 5872.64