Hiroh Kikai: A performer of butoh dance

Hiroh Kikai “Persona”

Does anybody know Hiroh Kikai?

I had never heard of him until I saw his book “Persona” last year. The photobook “Persona” contains portraits of people from Asakusa/ Tokyo, whom Hiroh Kikai photographed for three decades since 1973.

“Persona”, published in 2003, is a large format book and the black and white portraits of people from Asakusa are printed in quadtone in striking quality. The book won the 23rd Domon Ken Award and the 2004 Annual Award of the Photographic Society of Japan. Unfortunately, it is sold out and it took me some time to find it in Tokyo. A new, smaller version of the photo book was published last autumn.

 

Today Asakusa is best known for its Senjoji Temple, a temple famous for Tokyo’s biggest festival taking place late spring every year, while in the first half of the 20th century Asakusa was the major entertainment district of Tokyo.1)A very vivid description of the bustling live of Asakusa in the 1920th can be found in Yasunari Kawabata’s novel The Scarlet Gang Of Asakusa.
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1. A very vivid description of the bustling live of Asakusa in the 1920th can be found in Yasunari Kawabata’s novel The Scarlet Gang Of Asakusa.