Yoko Ishii’s DESCENT OF THE DIVINE DEER is now part of the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive


Book Title: Descent of the Divine Deer

Photographer/s: Yoko Ishii

Place of publication: Tokyo, Japan

Year of publication: 2015

Publisher: Self published

Language: English, Japanese

Dimensions of book: 148 x 210 mm

Edition size: 30

Binding, paper & printing details:  Soft cover, saddle stitch, staple bound, colour digital off set prints on uncoated paper

Number of pages: 32

Number of pictures: 26

Designer: Tatsuo Yoshizaki

Editor: Yoko Ishii

Printer: Graphic – Japan

ISBN: n/a

Retail price: 1,800 JPY

Where to buy; stores/ distributors/URLS: ‘Artist’s website’, ‘Amazon

Link/s to existing book reviews: n/a

Summary of project:

“It was in 767, Takemikazuchi, god of Kashima Shrine, was ceremonially enshrined at Kasuga Shrine in Mara astride a white deer in order to protect the Heijo-kyo capital. Ever since, the deer at Nara have been regarded as divine messengers, and they were considered so sacred that the death penalty sometimes applied for killing a deer in the ancient capital. However, the deer came to be seen as a problem for reasons such as the damage they did to crops. After WWII total of about 900 deer dropped sharply to 79. In 1957 Nara’s deer were designated as “special national treasure’ and their number gradually increased. Now 1191 deer inhabit Nara Park and tourists love them. So what are they? Sacred deer or wild animals? Detached from such human concerns, the deer live in the shrines of the gods, eating the greenery and leaving their droppings.”

Yoko Ishii