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Document Koen

(Photopocket version)

Kohei Yoshiyuki


Softcover | First Edition | 240 pages

Published by Sunday Inc, 1981.

The original Document Koen (Document Park) is one of the most notorious Japanese photobooks. This follow-up paperback features photos from the first section of that book with aditional text and diagrams. It was released as a D.I.Y. of sorts for aspiring photographers and voyeurs aiming to replicate the images of Yoshiyuki, complete with photo developing instructions and equipment lists.

"The abstract, somewhat inexplicit nature of Document Koen (Document Park) raises few issues regarding the depiction of sex, but it does generate a whole slew of questions concerning voyeurism, privacy and stalking. It may indeed be considered a documentary book about sexual practices rather than a sex book in itself, although the voyeuristic nature of the images feeds back into both what is going on and how it was documented. To make the book, Yoshiyuki trawled the Shinjuku and Yoyogi parks in Tokyo, both notorious for nocturnal sexual activity, and photographed the 'goings-on' with infrared flash, which enabled him to get images in the dark without the flash being visible. One suspects that this was done less for reasons of concealment and more for the brittle, indeterminate aesthetic produced, for these seem to be semi-public events, with more voyeuristic spectators than people actually taking part in the various sexual activities... nominally a soft-core voyeur's manual, Document Kouen is somewhat short on titillation. It is, however, a brilliant piece of social documentation, catching perfectly the loneliness, sadness and desperation that so often accompany sexual or human relationships in a big metropolis like Tokyo." - Parr & Badger, The Photobook: A History, Volume 2, pp. 296-297

Text in Japanese.