Seiji Kurata. AKB 80's | Little Big Man Books


So I can only imagine...

Time slowly rolls forward to the present. We are looking down towards Tokyo Bay from the hills of Yamanote. From here, a ride to the bay would be a steep and fast journey, especially on a bike—the way I travel everywhere. Here, I would be riding downhill, feeling the sensation of my hips and legs jutting out in front of my descending bike. 

While riding around on my bike photographing Tokyo for this book, I was unable to glimpse any vast rice fields in Tokyo as they have all vanished. Akibahara, or should I say AKB, no longer shows me a view of its vast former wetlands. Nor are there any nighthawks soaring in the darkening sky, to listen to at the end of the day. 

So from the Edo period, our history eventually arrives in the present of Tokyo of today. The city’s landscape is something that Edo’s founder—Tokugawa Ieyasu—could only dream of. It remains in constant movement, hurtling towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Curiously, the city's collective goals have not changed much since its beginning. Industrial development—now global capitalism—is still very much its priority. 

This book was born at the beginning of the Showa era—a chaotic period encompassing rebuilding after the devastating Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, traumatic defeat in World War II and the death of the Showa Emperor in 1989—and it still continues, always moving along a road called history.