Gods of the Earth.

Photographs by Hiromi Tsuchida. Text by Goichi Matsunaga.
Tosei-Sha, Japan, 2004. In Japanese and English. 240 pp., Numerous black and white illustrations.,

Publisher's Description
If the great filmmaker, folklorist, and visionary Harry Smith succeeded in unearthing 'the old weird American' in his influential Anthology of American Folk Music (Greil Marcus' description), photographer Hiromi Tsuchida's first book does something similar in a Japanese context. This fascinating investigation documents the folk culture and deeply nature-based indigenous religious practices of rural Japan-'the old weird Japan,' if you will. “I have been wandering these past several years in mountains, villages, towns and cities in pursuit, for the most part, of festivals and religious space.,' he writes. 'My wandering was not in response to a definite plan, in fact it was quite arbitrary. I suppose what I was trying to do was to find myself again as a Japanese.” Goichi Matsunaga explains that 'The diverse expressions of the gods of the earth can still be seen today in Japan with all their tradition, and full of the vitality of their mixed origins.' An important book in both artistic and sociological terms.

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