Category: japan

Madonna, Japan 1985 Ph. Hiro Itoh


The Supremes at press conference in Tokyo, August 1966.

Madonna at press conference for Who’s That Girl Japan Tour, June 1987, Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Koh Hasebe

Alyssa Milano ca. 1980s

Photograph by Fred Maroon, Japan Rice Field in Oshino Village, near Mt. Fuji, 1969

Photograph by Fred Maroon From the series Fashions in Japan, Shimizu 1969

Jean-Michel Basquiat photographed by Yutaka Sakano in Tokyo for Issey Miyake in 1983.

Yutaka Sakano: “One day in July 1983, I received a phone call from Midori Kitamura, Issey Miyake’s assistant who was in charge of press relations at the time. She tells me that a young artist named Basquiat, who has become a sensation in New York, was coming to Japan, and she asked me if I could photograph him for a men’s fashion magazine. I immediately reserve studio # 8 in the basement of Studio Azabu, which no longer exists today. The day of the shooting, I loaded in my car a hand made backdrop and went to the rendezvous in a good mood. This is the first time I met Basquiat. I did not know anything about him. He looks like a wonderful young man. He takes the initiative during the shooting, improvising all kinds of poses. It is also the first time he meets me, and we did not speak each other language, having to opt instead for hand gestures communication. He did his best to comply with the guidelines given by the Japanese photographer that I am. Even though the photos are for color publication, I always take black and white photos for my own use. And if I find the subject particularly interesting, all the shooting is also done in B&W.” 

Marilyn on her honeymoon in Tokyo, Japan, 1954, Edward Weston Collection

Totally Spies
Season 1, Episode 19

Jean-Michel Basquiat photographed by Yutaka Sakano in Tokyo for Issey Miyake in 1983.

Yutaka Sakano: In the workshop, Basquiat finds a box of white paint used to paint the cyclorama. He dipped a brush and held it in front of his face, while splashing paint everywhere. This surprised everyone attending the scene. Whenever he repeated the movement, his leather jacket got a little more paint. After a while, Midori screamed her indignation, because with the exception of the jeans and moccasins he came with, all the clothes for the shoot were graciously loaned by Issey Miyake. His jeans and moccasins are already splashed with paint, with colors found in his paintings. He seemed to have jumped directly from his New York loft to the Tokyo studio.

I think I remember that Basquiat picked up objects he found in the studio and used them in a very personal and fascinating way for this shoot. At the time, 22 years old, Basquiat still had childish features and his smile reflected the mischievous look of youth. His art reflects the same pure and innocent spirit.