Untitled (Chicago): Yasuhiro Ishimoto (1921 – 2012)

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Yasuhiro Ishimoto embodied an interesting channel between American and Japanese photography. Born in California, his family returned to Japan when he was three  – but he came back in 1939 to study architecture in Chicago. As an internee during the war he picked up photography, on release taking a degree at the Photography Department of the Chicago Institute of Design, graduating in 1952. He lived and worked mostly in Japan (with a lot of incidental travelling) after that, but being bilingual acted as a conduit between English- and Japanese-speaking photographers, helping to set up and facilitate exhibitions between the two countries. He was always drawn to Chicago, and this arresting image from his photobook  Chicago, Chicago (1969) gives an idea of the poverty that still existed in the city (although she can still afford a pack of Chesterfields….).

The two below are wonderful, showing Ishimoto’s sense of humour – and the spirit that continually drew him to the city….:

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