Takuma Nakahira

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Takuma Nakahira (中平 卓馬, Nakahira Takuma', July 6, 1938 – September 1, 2015) was a Japanese photographer and photography critic.[1]

Life and work[edit]

Born in Tokyo, Nakahira attended the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, from which he graduated in 1963 with a degree in Spanish. After graduation, he began working as an editor at the art magazine Contemporary view (Gendai no me), during which time he published his work under the pseudonym of Akira Yuzuki (柚木明). Two years later, he left the magazine in order to pursue his own career as a photographer, and he became close friends with Shōmei Tōmatsu, Shūji Terayama, and Daidō Moriyama. In 1968, the group consisting of Nakahira, Yutaka Takanashi, Takahiko Okada, and Kōji Taki published the magazine Provoke.[2][3] The following year, Provoke ceased publication, and in 1971, Nakahira exhibited his works in the 7th Paris Biennial.

Nakahira's first published photobook, For a Language to Come (Kitarubeki kotoba no tame ni) has been described as "a masterpiece of reductionism."[4] Parr and Badger include it in the first volume of their photobook history.[5] Up through its publication in 1970, Nakahira had been well versed in the style are, bure, boke (rough, blurred, and out of focus). In 1973, he published Why an Illustrated Botanical Dictionary (Naze, shokubutsu zukan ka), shifting away from the style of are, bure, boke and instead moving towards a type of catalog photography stripped of the sentimentality of handheld photography, a photography resembling the illustrations of reference books.[6]

In 1990, along with Seiichi Furuya and Nobuyoshi Araki, Nakahira was presented with the Society of Photography Award.


  • Kitarubeki kotoba no tame ni = For a Language to Come.
    • Fūdosha, 1970. With text by Nakahira.
    • Tokyo: Osiris, 2010. With texts by Nakahira, “Has Photography Been Able to Provoke Language?”, “Rebellion Against the Landscape: Fire at the Limits of my Perpetual Gazing . . .” and “Look at the City or, the Look from the City”, translated by Franz K. Prichard.
  • Why an Illustrated Botanical Dictionary.
    • Tokyo: Shōbun sha, 1973.
    • Chikuma Gakugei Bunko, 2007.
  • 「新たなる凝視」(Aratanaru gyōshi), Shōbunsha, 1983.
  • Adieu à X (AX).
    • Kawade Shobō Shinsha, 1989. ISBN 978-4-309-26111-9.
    • 2006. ISBN 978-4-309-26873-6.
  • 「日本の写真家36 中平卓馬」 Iwanami Shoten, 1999. ISBN 978-4-00-008376-8.
  • The Japanese Box - Facsimile reprint of six rare photographic publications of the Provoke era, Edition 7L / Steidl, 2001.
  • Nakahira Takuma, Hysteric Six, 2002.
  • Degree Zero: Yokohama. Tokyo: Osiris, 2003. ISBN 978-4-9901239-1-8. First half of catalogue for solo exhibition at Yokohama Museum of Art.
  • 「都市 風景 図鑑」 (Toshi fūkei zukan). Getsuyōsha, 2011. ISBN 978-4-901477-82-6.
  • Takuma Nakahira Documentary. Akio Nagasawa Publishing, 2011. ISBN 978-4-904883-34-1.
  • 「沖縄写真家シリーズ 琉球烈像 第8巻 沖縄・奄美・吐カ喇 1974-1978」 (Okinawa shashinka shirīzu Ryūkyū retsuzō #8 Okinawa・Amami・Tokara). Miraisha, 2012. ISBN 978-4-624-90028-1.
  • Overflow. Case, 2018. Text in English and Japanese.



  1. ^ EFE (4 September 2015). "Fallece Takuma Nakahira, vanguardista fotógrafo del Japón de la posguerra". El Periódico.
  2. ^ Martin Parr; Gerry Badger (2004). The Photobook: A History, Volume I. London: Phaidon Press. pp. 269–271. ISBN 978-0-7148-4285-1.
  3. ^ Shirayama, Mari (2003). "Major Photography Magazines". In Tucker, Anne Wilkes (ed.). The History of Japanese Photography. Houston, TX: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. p. 384. ISBN 978-0890901120.
  4. ^ Huie, 2010, p. 33.
  5. ^ Martin Parr; Gerry Badger (2004). The Photobook: A History, Volume I. London: Phaidon Press. pp. 292–293. ISBN 978-0-7148-4285-1.
  6. ^ Charrier, 2017.

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