Robert Frank and Kazuhiko Motomura in 2007. Photograph by Ryan McGinley.
From Sam Stephenson’s Jazz Loft Project Blog:
Interview with Kazuhiko Motomura, the 78 year-old former public sector employee from Saga, a rural area near Nagasaki, who doubles as an extraordinary collector of photography books and prints, and a selective publisher of five sublime, limited edition photo books, including three by Robert Frank and one by Jun Morinaga. Frank, Morinaga, and Gene Smith are interwoven into Motomura’s intriguing story, which I can’t go into in this post, but I will share a detail about our meet-up:
By telephone Motomura told my interpreter Momoko Gill that we should meet him on the sidewalk outside a bookstore in Shinjuku. We did that. Then he led us down into the nearby subway station where we walked for maybe two tenths of a mile, taking a number of ninety degree turns, before emerging above ground in front of the entrance to a department store several blocks away. We went inside the store and took a nondescript elevator up about eight floors where we found an almost empty coffee shop that was perfect for an oral history interview. Normally, I do everything I can do to conduct these interviews in the subject’s home, for a multitude of reasons. But this was better. Motomura’s submerged, exacting route to the coffee shop might be a metaphor for the unique focus and quality of the rest of his achievements.