Emperor of Japan.
Photographs by Eiji Ina.
Nazraeli Press, Portland, 2008. 132 pp., 145 duotone illustrations., 12x15".
To us Japanese, issues concerning “the emperor” are not solely matters
of politics and history, but are also deeply, if subtly, connected to our
everyday lives and spirit . . . How many people have gone to Hachioji,
just outside of Tokyo, to visit the Musashino Imperial Mausoleum
where the Showa Emperor is buried? How many people know what kind
of scene has been created there? I too, of course, watched the broadcast of
the imperial funeral, but I have never actually been to the mausoleum.
— from the Introduction by Ryuichi Kaneko
In Emperor of Japan, Eiji Ina presents photographs of the misasagi,
or burial mounds, of all 124 Japanese emperors since the Kofun
period, reaching back some 1,600 years. The scenes that Ina
has captured – not of the tombs themselves, but rather the places
for worshipping at the tombs, and the surrounding gardens and
landscapes – were created by the emperor system, with its claim
of an unbroken line of sovereigns, that served as the foundation
of the modern nation state of Japan. Our second monograph on
the work of Eiji Ina, Emperor of Japan is printed in an oversized
format on matt art paper, bound in Japanese cloth and limited to
1,000 casebound copies.
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