Miyako Ishiuchi

¥4,500 JPY

“I spent my whole adolescence, from when I was 6 to 19 years old, in Yokosuka, where both my body and mind grew up. However, I don’t think of Yokosuka as my hometown and I have few sweet and joyous memories there. It was natural because Yokosuka, a town of the American military base, was not comfortable to me as a young girl who had newly moved at the time of entering elementary school, to this new place where my father had been working away from our home in the countryside. Good or bad, the cultural shock I suffered was immense.

I started my career as a photographer by photographing Yokosuka. The vivid contrast of light and shadow inherent in the town somehow created photogenic landscapes as the history of the town seemed to be making invisible scars everyday. "YOKOSUKA STORY", an autobiographical series with which I made my debut, is thus a photographic story of myself nurtured by the town's atmosphere as such.

"From YOKOSUKA" is the finale of my Yokosuka series in which I extensively photographed around Dobuita Street and EM Club, which I had never shot in the previous series. Looking back, I remember that I first pushed myself to photograph these places since young girls were prohibited to go there by their parents and I just ran back home without taking a photograph at all at first.

Back in the 1980s, Dobuita Street was not as busy as it had once been, and cabarets for American soldiers were mostly closed. In order to present an exhibition of my work, I rented one of the closed cabarets with an area of 330 sq. meters for six months and repainted its interior walls in red with the help of local artists and performers. I closed the cabaret house tightly to set up a temporary dark room only for the night, brought my enlarger in there, made a boat-shaped wooden vat by myself, cut the roll of printing paper, and enlarged the images of "YOKOSUKA STORY" and newly-shot "From YOKOSUKA." The exhibition "From YOKOSUKA" consisted of 200 photographs including two 180 x 120 cm prints and ten 120 x 80 cm prints.

The name of this cabaret was "2nd New YOKOSUKA." It had two stages, a horseshoe-shaped table and seats for approximately 50 people, a mirror ball hanging from the ceiling, and an exterior neon sign that still worked. Turning on the large neon sign with hundreds of light bulbs forming the name "2nd New YOKOSUKA" became my routine every evening during the exhibition.

While it was outside the U.S. military base, Dobuita Street was a "Little America." With A-sign ("Approved for US Forces") bars and cabarets all trading in dollars lining both sides, the street was a glorious red-light district that prospered as wars continued. In this street, I took, developed, printed and exhibited photographs. Through my "From YOKOSUKA" series, I could "print out" various memories and thoughts from the past.

Although it no longer exists, the cabaret "2nd New YOKOSUKA" remains in my photographs. The exhibition "From YOKOSUKA" resulted from my confrontation with Yokosuka, the object of my disgust and hatred. I have nothing to regret for Yokosuka any more. Yokosuka as a proper noun has gone away from me now. My starting point finished its role and became past history. I will probably never visit Yokosuka again in reality. Something has ended. Good-bye, Yokosuka, and thank you, Yokosuka.”


w21.6 x h28 cm
42 Pages
25 Images(b/w) 1Image(color)
Softcover (hand-sewn)
Doubletone Offset / Fullcolor Offset
Limited edition of 1000
Published in 2016
ISBN 978-4-905052-96-8




「From YOKOSUKA」は横須賀シリーズの最後となる作品で「絶唱、横須賀ストーリー」であまり撮影しなかったドブ板通り、EMCLUB周辺を中心に撮影する。昔、ドブ板通りに女の子は行ってはいけないと言われて育ったので初めの内は写真を撮ることも出来ず逃げるように帰っただけだったが、勇気を出して撮りはじめた事がなつかしく思い出される。

1980年ごろのドブ板通りはかつてのにぎわいはなく、米兵を相手とするキャバレーはほとんど閉まっていた。その閉まっていたキャバレーの一軒を半年間借りて「From YOKOSUKA」展を横須賀でいろいろ表現している人達と共に100坪の店内の壁を赤いペンキで塗り、「絶唱、横須賀ストーリー」と撮り下ろしの「From YOKOSUKA」は一晩キャバレーを密封して引伸し機を暗室から移動し、木材で船形のバットを作り、ロール印画紙を切って、180センチ×120センチのプリント2枚、120センチ×80センチを10枚プリントした写真を含め200点の写真を展示する。

そのキャバレーは2nd New YOKOSUKAという店だった。店内には2つのステージと馬蹄形の50人ぐらい座れるカウンターが有り、ミラーボールも外壁のネオンサインも生きていて、夕方になると数百個の電球のある2nd New YOKOSUKAの文字の大きなネオンサインに、スイッチを入れるのが私の役目だった。

かつてドブ板通りは基地の外に有るにもかかわらず横須賀でなくアメリカだった。Aサインバーとキャバレーは乱立し、ドル札での水商売は戦争と共に光輝く歓楽の通りだったのである。そのドブ板通りで私は写真を撮り、写真を現像し、写真を展示した。「From YOKOSUKA」によって過去のさまざまな思いを印画紙にすべてプリントしたのだった。

現在その現場のキャバレーは見事に消えてしまい私の写真の中に在る。「From YOKOSUKA」は嫌悪と憎悪の悪場所だった横須賀と正面きって向き合った展示である。横須賀に思いのこすことは何もない。固有名詞の横須賀は私から離れ遠くなる、出発点はその役割を果たして、歴史となった。現実の横須賀へもう行くことはないだろう。何かが終わったのだ。グッバイ横須賀、そしてありがとう横須賀。」


w21.6 x h28 cm
40 ページ
25 イメージ(白黒) 1(カラー)
白黒 & カラーオフセット印刷
Published in 2016
ISBN 978-4-905052-96-8