300 COPIES PER ISSUE
Kiroku [Record / Document] Issues 1-5.
(Tokyo): [Self-published], (1972-3).
5 vols. [Issues 1-4] (296 × 207 mm), pp.; ; ; . Black-and-white photographs. Kazuo Nishii contributes a text for issues 2-4. Saddle-stapled self-wrappers; light wear and handling marks, short splits to head and foot of spines, oxidation to staples, small abrasion to rear of issue 1. [Issue 5] (263 x 192 mm), pp.20. Black-and-white photographs. Additional contributions in issue 5 from Kawamura, Hamada, Yokoyama, and Kazuo Nishii. Sewn self-wrappers, cover printed in black and red; light spotting to covers, small ink mark, crease to top outer corner, short splits to head and foot of spine, light handling marks. Issue 3 signed by Moriyama. A very good complete set of the first phase. Rare.
First editions, limited to 300 copies per issue, of one of Moriyama’s rarest works, issue 3 signed. In 1969, shortly before he joined the Provoke group, Daido Moriyama had considered starting his own photo magazine called 'Scandal', though he never realised the idea. In 1972, he published three books: Shashin yo sayonara [Bye, Bye Photography], Kagero [Mayfly], and Kariudo [Hunter], the publication of Shashin yo sayonara, in particular, left him feeling ‘morally and physically adrift.’ Soon afterwards he decided to revive his plans for a self-published magazine. He explained his intentions in the June 1973 supplement of Asahi Camera, a text which was translated in Setting Sun.
‘I realized that my photographs were extremely personal, so I made this magazine in order to have a space in which I can immediately reflect any idea whenever I have one and am eager to bring it to life, without troubling anyone else… I used to believe that photography should be mass media and mass-produced — and essentially I still believe that, but when I have doubts about the process of communication through mass media, I feel a need for mini media (e.g. a small publication).’
Between the Summer of 1972 and Spring of 1973, Moriyama produced 5 issues of Kiroku. The first four reproduce only his own photographs, and for issue 5 he changed the approach as well as the format, including texts and photographs by other contributors as well.
‘It can be seen as a crystallisation of Moriyama’s mature style and foundation of the work that was to follow… With Kiroku, Moriyama completes the transition — begun with Nippon gekijo shashincho [Japan: A Photo Theatre, 1968] — of letting go of “documentary” in favour of more personal or artistic interests that unashamedly privilege texture, light and mood over descriptive clarity or legibility. These new pictures are like miniature and quite subtle surrealistic experiences, momentarily drawing the viewer out of the chaos of daily life and into the realm of the tiny, imponderable happenings that are logically indecipherable, but nevertheless meeting places between the inner and outer realms of daily existence and triggers of memory. As such, Kiroku can be seen as the most intimately personal and delicate photography Moriyama had done since his “Silent Theatre” series of nearly a decade earlier, and a different kind of inquiry into the mystery of contingency that had preoccupied him during the “Accident” project. Finally, Kiroku can be seen to mark the beginning of Moriyama’s preoccupation with time, memory and the strange aura emitted by old photographs, that came increasingly to characterise his work after 1972’ (Charrier 289).
In 2006 Moriyama revived the project with the assistance of Akio Nagasawa. Issues from the second phase of Kiroku are published loosely around a quarterly schedule and retain the basic format of the first four issues.
Vartanian, I., Hatanaka, A. and Kanbayashi, Y., (eds) Setting Sun: Writings by Japanese Photographers 95-104; Aarons, P. and Roth, A., In Numbers: Serial Publications by Artists Since 1955 224-227; P. Charrier, ’The Making of a Hunter’, History of Photography, Vol. 34, No. 3 268-290.