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Mighty Silence: Images of Destruction: The Great Earthquake and Tsunami of East Japanby Yasushi (pht) Handa
Synopses & Reviews
An acclaimed fashion photographer provides a personal, luminous, and moving account of post-tsunami Japan. This volume is an extraordinary photographic report by the famous Japanese fashion photographer Yasushi Handa, taken a few weeks after the terrible earthquake and tsunami that battered the eastern coastline of Japan in March 201. It includes the detailed history of the provinces affected by the disaster, an accessible scientific explanation of the reasons why such an event can occur, and a look to the future that talks clearly about how damage can be limited and how nuclear disasters can be prevented. The book also reveals the composure of the Japanese people and their incredible capacity to resurrect themselves. All this in an elegant volume—published worldwide exactly two years after the events described—that is a must for enthusiasts of photography and contemporary history, as well as for those who want to understand more about the reality that surrounds us. The photographs were exhibited in Tokyo, Kobe, and Okinawa between January and March 2012 and were admired by a great number of visitors.
"In these disquieting photographs captured in the wake of the earthquake (which measured 9.0 on the Richter scale) and subsequent tsunami that rocked eastern Japan in 2011 — leaving 18,000 dead or missing — photographer Handa, by focusing exclusively on the wreckage, records the bleak reality of the aftermath and, tacitly, the nation's earliest feelings of shock and helplessness. A Japanese fashion and celebrity photographer whose work has appeared in Vanity Fair and Vogue, Handa toured the devastated region roughly three weeks after the disaster, with a 65 million — pixel camera and a hope that 'such photos might serve a purpose someday.' As a result of that digital technology, these somber landscapes of debris are shown in glaring detail, with each broken chair, loose shoe, and smashed plank conveying displacement and privation. Here is a seafood processing plant that has been mangled into abstraction; a train coach that has been tossed among a cemetery's headstones; as well as ravaged cars, dislodged buildings, and collapsed factories. Although people are conspicuously absent from the photographs, introductory text — by a reporter, a rescue worker, a public official, two scholars, and others — provides much-needed perspective, with firsthand accounts of the disaster and its aftermath. The photographs and text provide a vital document of a tragedy that left scars across the world." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Born on December 7, 1955, Yasushi Handa is one of Japans most accomplished photographers. While still a university student at Nihon Universitys College of Art, Handa was hired as a photographer by influential fashion magazines of Japan, such as Ryukotsushin and High Fashion. After graduating, he became a freelance photographer. His photographs have been published in Vogue, GQ, and Vanity Fair. He received first prize awards at Cannes, IBA, and London International.
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