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In 1965, 25-year-old Takao Niikura set on a photographic journey which would become the theme of his famous photo book “Dizzy Noon.”
The “Friendship day” held at the Atsugi Naval Air Base became a chance for Niikura and other Japanese residents to take a peak of the air strip that was once forbidden to them. Niikura thought of the journey as a foray into the unknown. After all, the Atsugi Naval Air Base was built to protect Japan from American bombers, and ironically, this is where General Douglas MacArthur landed after Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers.
During this rare event Niikura took colored pictures of the air base – eight rolls in total – something that was particularly new during the mid-1960’s.
Images of post-war Japan were influential to most Japanese photographers. While most covered the after-effects of the war, Niikura decided to set his sights on the ‘mixing of two cultures’ that fateful day. His contemporary Shomei Tomatsu looked at the American soldiers with such hatred, but Niikura came across with pictures with such ‘bemusement.’
Dizzy Noon is a 64-page photo compendium which features 36 colored images and 2 monochromatic shots. His memoirs of the 1965 Friendship Day proved to be the gem in Niikura’s 45-year career as a photographer.