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The Yamatochi, a history-rich area in the Nara Prefecture, has been the constant muse of Japanese photographer Taikichi Irie.
Apart from picturing sites of his hometown, Irie also favors shooting Buddhist sculptures. Born in 1905, Irie’s passion with photography was highly influenced by his brother. He started using the camera as a teen, and worked for a camera shop in 1925. Six years later he opened his own shop in Osaka. Apart from selling photography materials, Irie’s studio focused on shooting images for product advertisements.
In 1939, Irie set his shutters on the Bunraku, a type of puppet theatre which was famous in Osaka. These images were displayed in the same-named exhibit three years after.
Irie’s photos of Buddhist sculptures and temples were published in the 1940’s. This marked the start of Irie’s career as a notable photo book author. Some of his works include Todaiji (1958), Yamatoji (1960), Butsuzo no hyojo (1964), Koshiki Yomatoji (1971), Tosho Daiji (1973), and Yamato no matsuri (1974), to name a few.
When Irie died in 1992, his hometown established a museum – named Nara City Museum of Photography. It was devoted to his photographic masterpieces which have been published and displayed all throughout the years.