Japanese gang members on the streets of Tokyo in the 1960's, photographed by Watanabe Katsumi in the book Gangs of Kabukicho for Ponyboy Magazine.

WATANABE KATSUMI
GANGS

  • Japanese prostitutes in the 1960's photographed by Watanabe Katsumi.
  • Japanese transvestites in the 1960's photographed by Watanabe Katsumi.
  • Japanese hookers in 1960's Tokyo photographed by Watanabe Katsumi.
  • Japanese gang members in the book Gangs of Kabukicho by photographer Watanabe Katsumi.
  • Transvestites in 1960's Tokyo in the book Gangs of Kabukicho by photographer Watanabe Katsumi.
  • Japanese prostitutes in 1960's Kabukicho photographed by Watanabe Katsumi.
  • Japanese couples in 1960's Tokyo photographed by Watanabe Katsumi.
  • Japanese prostitutes and transvestites in 1960's Tokyo photographed by Watanabe Katsumi in the book Gangs of Kabukicho.
  • Japanese gang members in the book Gangs of Kabukicho by portrait photographer Watanabe Katsumi.
  • Japanese transvestites in 1960's-70's Tokyo photographed by Watanabe Katsumi in the book Gangs of Kabukicho.
  • Prostitutes in 1960's Tokyo photographed by Watanabe Katsumi in the book Gangs of Kabukicho.
  • Gang members from the Japanese book Gangs of Kabukicho by street photographer Watanabe Katsumi.
  • JapaDrag queens in 1960's-70's Tokyo photographed by Watanabe Katsumi in the amazing book Gangs of Kabukicho.
  • A prostitute and gang member in the 1970's photographed by Watanabe Katsumi in the book Gangs of Kabukicho.
  • A group of gang members in the 1960's photographed by Watanabe Katsumi in the book Gangs of Kabukicho.

THE SEEDY WORLD OF KABUKICHO

 WATANABE KATSUMI

Kabukicho is the red-light district of Shinjuku Tokyo and back in the 60’s and 70’s, portrait photographer Watanabe Katsumi focused his lens on the nighttime inhabitants of this area. These subjects included prostitutes, transvestites and gang members, whom all agreed to pose for the photographer’s camera. He would then return the next evening and deliver prints to his subjects for a minimal amount of money. In 1972 the artist published his own small book of portraits and later, in the mid-eighties, had his first and only exhibition while he was alive. Andrew Roth, a New York City gallery owner, stumbled upon these photos shortly before Katsumi passed away, and published this book with PPP Editions in 2009. Roth is now the caretaker of Katsumi’s estate. All photos courtesy of Andrew Roth/PPP Editions, New York.