GANGS OF KABUKICHO
Kabukicho is the red-light district of Shinjuku Tokyo and back in the ’60s and ’70s, portrait photographer Watanabe Katsumi focused his lens on the nighttime inhabitants of this area. These subjects included prostitutes, transvestites and gang members, who 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.