A Rare Look At Retro Tokyo From 1970’s

When it comes to exploring Asia, there are only a handful of photographers well known for decades. One of those is Greg Girard. Places such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand are some of those explorations we have seen. Recently we have been given a glimpse into what we are calling Retro Tokyo. Girard credits Tokyo with what helped him develop his photography skills. AS anyone can tell when looking at the photo gallery below, he captured many pivotal scenes in the land of the rising sun. His captivating photos of post war Japan gives us a glimpse into life just before the economic boom. 

“It was just so obvious that it was a kind of science-fiction place—that word just popped into my head looking out the train window at the city,” he shares in his new book Tokyo-Yokosuka 1976-1983. “I thought, ‘Why didn’t anybody tell me about this?’ It was clear that first night that I wanted to stay.”

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“In the mid-1970s, apart from great work by Japanese photographers—work that was rarely seen in the west—there simply wasn’t much information (visual or otherwise) about what Tokyo was like,” Girard tells My Modern Met. “And the Tokyo I was seeing, when I first arrived and started living there in 1976, didn’t fit with anything I knew or had previously seen. So, I suppose I felt like I was ‘discovering’ it for myself, and set about trying to make pictures of what it looked and felt like to me.”

My Modern Met

Girard started spending his weekends exploring the sprawling US Navy base, where he photographed the people and surrounding areas. He noticed that many of the bars and night clubs were catering to American servicemen. “That world in which they were trying to recreate little bits of America far from home was interesting and became a subject that I’ve continued working on,” Girard explained. You can view more of Greg Girard’s work on Instagram and purchase his book, “Tokyo-Yokosuka 1976-1983,” here

Sources: Greg Girard Instagram, My Modern Met

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