—Essay: Daisuke Yokota
—Afterword: Marc Feustel
—English Translation: Daniel Gonzalez
—Japanese Translation: Yoshi Shiraishi
—Edition of 500
—OUT OF PRINT
“Taratine” brings together two bodies of new work—one from a road trip to Tohoku in 2007, and a second taken in Tokyo in 2014. The Tohoku photographs were inspired by Yokota happening upon an ancient ginkgo tree in the Aomori prefecture. Called taratine, this tree has been worshipped by generations of women for its legendary fertility-enhancing properties. Yokota was reminded both of the Tohoku region’s traditional—and lingering—connection to the awe of natural spirits (the influence of Jomon-period animism) and of memories from his own childhood.
From this experience came a photographic ode to those traditions and memories, one that also expresses his strong admiration for the important women in his life: his mother, in the case of the Aomori pictures; and his girlfriend, in the Tokyo pictures. By fusing the two together in “Taratine,” Yokota is charting a new direction for his work.
As Marc Feustel observes in the afterword, “Unlike its predecessors, “Taratine” is driven by a more ambiguous and slippery set of emotions and sensations. A need for maternal love evolves into lust and desire. As much a book about sounds and smells as one of images—“Taratine” heightens all the senses as it breathes fresh air into a grand Japanese tradition.”