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This book is the final culmination of the course Documentary Photography: Japan offered by Stephan Apicella-Hitchcock through the Department of Theatre and Visual Arts at Fordham University.
The course description is as follows: This intensive class is designed as a platform for intermediate and advanced level students to further develop their photographic production with an emphasis on generating documentary projects focusing on the people, culture, and architecture of Japan. The megacity of Tokyo will serve as the starting point for our investigations, with image making itineraries that will take us from the cosmopolitan ward of Shinjuku, to the center of youth culture in Shibuya; and from the cutting edge fashion districts of Harajuku, to the temples and shrines of Asakusa.
Concurrent with our photographic explorations we will examine contemporary exhibitions in venues such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Ebisu, as well as view the ancient collections housed in Japan’s oldest and largest museum, the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno. Traveling by Shinkansen bullet train at 300 km/h (186 mph), we will make our way south to Kyoto, the nexus of traditional Japanese culture and history with approximately two thousand temples, shrines, and gardens that we can utilize as both the catalyst and stage for our photography. The extraordinary wealth of visual stimuli we will experience in Japan over ten days will certainly inspire, as well as function as the backdrop against which to critically discuss the strategies that photographers employ in communicating their interests.