(Graphic Shudan). KIJIMA, Takashi and Shozo Kitadai (photographers).
[Untitled].[Tokyo]: Graphic Shudan, [late 1950s]. First Edition. 4 volumes in card slipcase with a square cutout window. Square 12mos. Number 87 of 1000 numbered copies. Despite the apparent limitation, one of the great rarities of Japanese photographic literature: this is the first time I have seen these wonderful, diminutive volumes, apparently intended as a promotional giveaway for the Graphic Shudan, a group of artists, photographers, and art directors active in the advertising world. If indeed this is advertising, Don Draper would be doing boozy cartwheels in his office. From a design and aesthetic standpoint, this publication appears to presage every design trend from Sam Haskins to Eikoh Hosoe; indeed the brilliance of the photography, sequencing, packaging and layout is perhaps unrivaled by anything of this era. That the photographers are largely unknown and the item essentially unobtainable, only adds to the mystique. (Aperture 46-49). The four books are crisp and fine in photo-illustrated wrappers; the cardboard slipcase with a square cutout window is also close to fine.