Tokyo Lucky Hole.

Photographs by Nobuyoshi Araki
Taschen, Köln, English, 1997. In Germany. 700 pp., over 900 black-and-white illustrations, 5½x7½".

Before Sinjuku, Tokyo's infamous red-light district, was closed in 1985, the controversial Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki made this obsessive documentation of its every aspect: customers, prostitutes, street scenes, performances, peep-shows, slaves. Tokyo Lucky Hole reveals the core of Araki's art: the desire to create a portrait of Tokyo without the niceties (and prudishness) of convention. This work, amid constant accustations of obscenity, may come closest to revealing the immorality that resides in every city. Though previously published in Japan, this is the first ever uncensored version of Araki's 700 page masterwork. It may also be his rawest work as well.

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