Contemporary Japanese Photography

Photography is thriving these days in Japan, as the photographers on this page demonstrate. They have been chosen for their unique vision and perspective, as well as their ability to inspire imagination in the viewer.

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Featured Contemporary Photographers


Japanese photographer Hisaji Hara (born 1964) has created a stunning series of photographs titled A Photographic Portrayal of the Paintings of Balthus, in which he has used the paintings of the Polish-French painter Balthus as models for his own creations. (Read more…)


Kaoru Izima (born 1954) is a Japanese photographer known for creating vivid, if macabre, scenes. This gallery is perhaps his most well-known series; entitled Landscapes with a Corpse, he had beautiful models and actresses in stylish clothes imagine their perfect death scene, which he then created photographically. (Read more…)


Haruhiko Kawaguchi (“Photographer Hal”) was born and educated in Tokyo. This very unique photographer says that he is “currently seeking new dimensions in portrait photography by challenging the majestic theme of mankind, defined through love.” This gallery is his newest project and it’s called “Flesh Love.” In his quest to find the meaning of true love, he photographed couples who had been vacuum-sealed in a giant plastic bag. (Kids! Don’t try this at home!) (Read more…)


Seiji Mamiya’s cat photographs will appeal to cat lovers everywhere. He is especially adept at capturing the furry felines as they fly through the air. He also has a gallery of his cat videos on YouTube.


Daidō Moriyama (born 1938) is a Japanese photographer known for his images depicting the breakdown of traditional values in post-war Japan. His photographs are unique in that he makes use of the flaws in photography to create some of the most fascinating and influential street photography ever seen. (Read more…)


Nobuyoshi Araki (born 1940) is a Japanese photographer and contemporary artist.  He is one of the most prolific artists in Japan, having published over 350 books by 2005, and he continues to publish more each year. This gallery is a series called Painting Flower. (Read more…)


Hiroshi Nonami (born 1954) is a Japanese photographer whose photographs may look like drawings or may look like they have been photoshopped, but alas, they are just the product of some very clever, creative photographic tricks – like letting mold grow on the lens or stacking slides on top of each other. When he combines beautiful women with natural organic elements like branches, butterflies, fish, wings and flowers, the results can be downright breathtaking. (Read more…)


In her photo works, Kobe-based Tomoko Sawada shows us shifting aspects of her personality. By disguising herself as multiple women of Japanese society, she is playing with social norms and gender roles without judgment but simply imitating them with humour. Her work has been displayed as part of female art exhibitions such as last year’s Global Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum. (Read more…)


Keiichi Tahara (born 1951) began making photographs after moving to France in 1972. He works in many different media, including photography, sculpture, and even huge light-scape pieces produced as a part of urban planning projects. (Read more…)


Yumiko Utsu (born 1978) is of a generation of young Japanese women photographers that took to photography with a passion in the 1990s. Her influences, though, were not from the traditions of Japanese photography but from the mad fantasies of Western artists. (Read more…)


Hiroshi Watanabe (born 1951) is an award-winning California-based Japanese photographer. Although he obtained an MBA from UCLA in 1993, a few years later he turned all his attention to photography. He has several books published; perhaps the most notable being I See Angels Every Day, monochrome portraits of the patients and other scenes within San Lázaro psychiatric hospital in Quito, Ecuador. (Read more…)

One thought on “Contemporary Japanese Photography

  1. Hi there,I read your blog named “Contemporary Japanese Photography | Japanese Art Showcase” like every week.Your humoristic style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing! And you can look our website about love spell.


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