Harajuku UFO. Photographs by Yuko Nakamura. Introduction by Jun Miki. Self-published, Tokyo, 1980. Unpaged. Hardbound. Illustrated boards. No jacket as issued. Matching cardboard slipcase. Black-and-white reproductions. |
Beginning in 1977, Omotesando, is a very long street in Tokyo's Harajuku district with cafes and upscale fashion boutiques, was closed off to traffic on Sundays. Over the years, the proliferation and evolution of micro-sub-cultures within Harajuku is truly mind-boggling--from variations on Gothic Lolita, to Cosplay and Visual Kei, Decora, Kawaii, Ganguro, all flavors of Punk, New Wave, to name a few. By now, Harajuku street style is promoted in magazines like Kera, Tune, and Fruits. Gwen Stefani credited the Harajuku Fashion scene as the inspiration for her "L.A.M.B" clothing line.
Yuko Nakamura began photographing the youths who flocked to the area right around the birth of the scene. His images in this fantastically designed volume capture some of the earliest 'tribes,' or 'zokus' of Harajuku, most importantly those worshiping at the alter of 50s American Rockabilly, but also some of the Japan's 'early adopters' of Punk, numerous shades of T. Rex, Bowie and New York Dolls-inspired Glam rock and others. Nakamura succeeds in capturing the fantasy and optimism in this scene, where such dressing up is NOT narcissistic posing--as it would likely be in the West--but a celebration of artifice and pure, unhinged aesthetic invention.--
Ref. Yuniya Kawamura, "Fashioning Japanese Subcultures"
Fine+/Fine; crisp edges, bright boards; slight trace of foxing; Near Fine+ case with moderate foxing at extremities.