The 1990s were a decade of many changes – the Bubble had burst, new trends and technologies changed not only Japan but the world, and Japan experienced disasters as well as domestic terrorism. Photographer Mitsugu Ohnishi felt the streets call out to him, and he answered by capturing life in Tokyo’s Shitamachi area on medium format film, filtered through wide-angle lens. His photographs range from humorous to mundane, from everyday scenes to once-in-a-lifetime situations, adding up to form a visual time capsule of Tokyo before the city changed drastically again in the 2000s.

“When I scampered along the chaotic bustling streets of fin de siècle Tokyo, something unexpected surged towards me. It was not so much Daido Moriyama’s idea of “scratching” something, but it now seems to me that it was an era when the subject was unabashedly stimulating. As a photographer, I was only thinking about taking pictures as frankly as possible.”
— from Mitsugu Ohnishi’s afterword

-Book Size
200 × 200 mm
120 pages, 107 images
-Publication Year
English, Japanese
-Limited Edition

Artist Profile

Mitsugu Ohnishi

Born in Tokyo, 1952, Ohnishi graduated from Tokyo College of Photography in 1974. He received the 22nd Taiyo Award for “Town of Kawaguchi” in 1985 and the 18th Kimura Ihei Award for “The Long Vacation” and “New Around the Edges“ in 1993. In 2017 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Photographic Society of Japan. His main publications include: Wonderland 1980-1989 (FROG, 1989), “The Long Vacation” (Wides Shuppan, 2001) and “Kawano Nagareru Machide“ (Fugensha, 2016) and many others.

Gallery Exhibitions