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Jun Morinaga

Jun Morinaga is considered as one of the 328 Outstanding Photographers of Japan, according to the same-named book published in 2000 in Kyoto. Morinaga, who was born in 1937, is famous for his magnificent black and white portraits.

His most famous work is the photo book entitled “River, Its Shadow of Shadows,” with an introduction by renowned photographer W. Eugene Smith. Morinaga, who worked as Smith’s assistant, took the pictures of several rivers – featured in this book – from 1960 to 1963.

The book, which consists 89 black and white photos, also features commentaries from Seigow Matsuoka, Koichi Tanigawa, and Miyabi Ichikawa. Morinaga’s life as a photographer, who opened his own studio in 1969, is also narrated in this book.

The beautiful abstract pictures of “River,” art historians suggest, were deeply influenced by the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Russet Lederman of the International Center of Photography considers Morinaga’s book as something that “unnerves and disquiets the reader with a sense of loss.” Many photographers and image fans dote on this book as it is considered an extremely rare one.

Morinaga’s snapshots and portraits are considered iconic – even a mirror of the life which transpired in Japan after the war – that’s why he is heralded as one of the best Japanese photographers of all time.



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