Shomei Tomatsu: Chewing Gum and Chocolate

May 14, 2014 5:43PM
"In the area outside the gates of American bases, there are usually entertainment districts that cater to the soldiers. They are garish, heavily made-up neighborhoods. In Okinawa, Koza is the biggest base town, followed by Kin. When I go to Okinawa, I always visit Koza and Kin. Whenever I’d go into one of those base towns, I’d always feel slightly dizzy. Why? For the longest time, it was a mystery to me. But now that mystery is finally beginning to unravel. In my mind, I completely reject the American bases and the towns around them. But in some corner of my mind, there’s a part of me that feels nostalgic for the heavy makeup of the theater district, which is called forth by the heavy makeup of the base towns." Koza, Okinawa (1977) and this excerpt from Shomei Tomatsu's 1973 text for a Japanese literary magazine are reproduced from Aperture's extraordinary new monograph,Chewing Gum and Chocolate, releasing this week.
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