Takuma Nakahira, Japanese photographer, died at 77

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Takuma Nakahira, born on July 6, 1938 and died September 3, 2015.

He was a Japanese photographer and photography critic.

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).

Two years later, he left the magazine in order to pursue his own career as a photographer, and he became close friends with Shomei Tōmatsu, Shuji Terayama, and Daidō Moriyama.

In 1968, the group consisting of Nakahira, Yutaka Takanashi, Takahiko Okada, and Kōji Taki published the magazine Provoke.

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.” Parr and Badger include it in the first volume of their photobook history.

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.

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

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