Atsushi Fujiwara’s NANGOKUSHO – ODE TO THE SOUTHERN LANDS OF JAPAN is now part of the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive


Title: Nangokusho – Ode to the Southern Lands of Japan

Photographers: Atsushi Fujiwara

Date of publication: 2013

Place of publication: Tokyo, Japan

Language: Japanese & English

Dimensions of book: 250x230mm

Edition: 600

Number of pages: 104

Number of images: 95

Cover, Type of binding: Hardcover

Type of printing: Offset, double toned

Printer: Sun M Color Co. Ltd.

Publisher: Sokyusha

Publication designer:  Koichi Hara

Publication editor: Michitaka Ota

ISBN: 978-4904120170

Retail price: 3600 yen + tax

Category: Photo book

Summary of Project:

Atsushi Fujiwara follows the steps of his grandfather through the south of Japan,  guided by his book of Tanka poems called Nangokusho.
In “Nangokusho” there’s a lyrical feeling of loneliness, a quest for lost roots, Atsushi’s eye translates poetic verses in visual imagery, he hunts the invisible, the long gone.
A slow wandering through empty streets, railways and backyards, Nangokusho is a silent ode to the Southern lands of Japan.

“The photographs speak for themselves. In the critique of photography, I make it a general rule to comment on the background  from which the photographs arose.
If these were paintings, the past might be portrays  from memory or imagination, but as regard this collection, photography will capture only what is currently there.
Today, Kagoshima and beautiful Okinawa are dramatically different from how Tohmon (nd: art-name of Atsushi’s grandfather) saw them, and there is nothing remaining of that now.
Fujiwara Atsushi undertook to pursue sceneries that no longer exist. If the reader should sense a certain emptiness from these photographs, this must be understood to be the emptiness of post-war Japan.”

Extract from Akira Hasegawa’s afterword.