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Born in 1946, Shigeo Gocho is considered as one of the most influential photographers in Japan. In fact, he was included in the publication created by the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography entitled “328 Outstanding Photographers.”
Gocho is one of the names associated with “Sunappu,” a photography style which became famous from the 1930’s to the 1970’s. Sunappu is inspired by the word “Snapshot.” This style is defined as ‘spontaneous photography,’ with shots taken instantaneously with hand-held cameras.
Apart from Gocho, other famous photographers who have used the Sunappu technique include Ken Domon, Ihei Kimura, Daido Moriyama, and Nobuyoshi Araki.
Gocho used the Sunappu technique to respond to issues which affects art and photography heavily. Alongside Araki, Gocho’s photos of the 1970’s tackled ‘everyday lives.’
Gocho’s contributions to the world of photography, specifically Sunappu, were so intense that he was included in the doctoral thesis of Yoshiaki Kai. The paper, entitled “Sunappu: a Genre of Japanese Photography,” was submitted by Kai to the City University of New York.
Sadly, Gocho passed away in 1983 at just 37 years old. Although he was not able to live his life to the fullest, his snapshots continue to live on in exhibits and published photo books.