Zokushin (Gods of the Earth) by Hiromi Tsuchida, First Edition
E-mail a friend about this item.
Zokushin (Gods of the Earth) by Hiromi Tsuchida
First Edition, First Printing, 1976
Includes Original Publisher’s Cardboard Slipcase
This is a rare first edition, first printing of Hiromi Tsuchida’s first photobook “Zokushin (Gods of the Earth)” published by Ottos Books, Tokyo in 1976. In the late sixties, not too long after he was married, Tsuchida went wandering through the villages, mountains, and towns of Japan, searching for the identity of his nation and his place within it. Artist have always been drawn to the subjects of identity, god, and the identity of god, Tsuchida’s title, Zokushin – gods of the common people, suggest that the gods are everywhere, even (or maybe especially) in the humble rural villages of Japan. His wanderings are aptly timed as the Japan he depicts was quickly fading in lieu of the increasingly pervasive influence of western culture. His simple, black & white (yet very unusual) images are in defiance of the homogenized world of color television. Tsuchida’s Japan, absent of cars, radio, and other technologies, seems very strange to modern eyes, perhaps because it is the rise of the companies that produced those techno knick-knacks that has defined Japan since the late twentieth-century. From the essay "Gods of the Earth," by Goichi Matsunaga: "The gods of the earth are alive today. They are doing their best, unabashedly, to expand their lives and [whether] eating, drinking or sleeping, to get more pleasure out of it than the next one. Making up their faces and defecating, visiting the shrine now and then on the way home from counting their money, buying cucumbers, scolding their children, buttering up the boss, going to the races, masturbating in broad daylight, picking off their fleas in the lockup.they are, you see, very busy. But these busy gods, unlike that handful of sacred people who live off other people's taxes, have to earn money to live. If it will earn them a living, there is nothing they will not do. They will do whatever humans are capable of, and all of that -- is human. Whether it is close to the animals' mode of life or far removed -- it is human. So here we have, for better or worse, a mass of human beings squirming, comically, tragically, in the last stage of capitalism (which does not show much promise of turning into socialism) on the islands of the easternmost part of Asia. The diverse expressions of the gods of the earth can still be seen today in Japan with all their tradition, and full of the vitality of their mixed origins. I cannot but wish them well.”
Containing 103 black-and-white photographs, the book measures approximately 9.5 x 10.25” and is bound in white paper-covered boards with the title stamped in gold on the spine with a photographically illustrated dust jacket and publisher's labeled, cardboard slipcase. The condition of the book is FINE. The dust jacket is in Near FINE+ condition with a small tear to the back bottom of the dust jacket that has been professionally repaired. The slip case is in Very Good+ condition with some soiling, creasing and a small indentation just below the publisher’s label. Overall, this is a highly collectible copy of a rare photobook title that is becoming increasingly difficult to find complete and in collectible condition.
Cited in the reference work on Japanese Photobooks, “Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and 70s” by Ryuichi Kaneko and Ivan Vartanian.
Photographs of the front and rear of the front jacket, the front and rear of the slipcase, as well as photographs from the book appear below. Please note that although the photographs appear digitized as thumbnails, they are viewable in the photo viewer by running your mouse over the thumbnail.
E-mail a friend about this item.