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The Memories of Others - Akihiko Okamura

The Memories of Others - Akihiko Okamura

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The Memories of Others - Akihiko Okamura

Travel through the captivating world of Japanese war photographer Akihiko Okamura with The Memories of Others. This groundbreaking publication unveils Okamura's remarkable yet largely unseen body of work in Ireland during the late 1960s to the early 1980s. Delve into a richly illustrated exploration of Okamura's profound artistic vision and his unparalleled commitment to capturing the essence of Irish and Northern Irish history.

Through the lens of Okamura's camera, witness the transformative power of his photographs, which transcend conventional representations of conflict. From poignant moments of peace amidst turmoil to intimate portraits of communities, Okamura's work offers a unique perspective on the Troubles in Ireland. Unlike traditional photojournalism, Okamura's vibrant, color-rich images challenge the norm, inviting viewers to experience the depth and complexity of his subjects in a new light.

The Memories of Others goes beyond mere documentation, offering a profound reflection on the artist's personal journey and his deep connection to Ireland and its people. Featuring insightful essays by esteemed scholars and firsthand accounts from those who knew Okamura, this anthology provides a comprehensive overview of his enduring legacy.

Published by Atelier EXB and Prestel, some of photography’s most influential publishing houses, this collection is accompanied with essays and texts by Okamura’s Daughter Kusi Okamura; photography historian and curator Pauline Vermare; photo historian, author, and curator Masako Toda; award-winning journalist Seán O’Hagan and Photo Museum Ireland Artistic Director and CEO, Trish Lambe. The Memories of Others is an unparalleled contribution to the study of photography and the experience of conflict in Ireland.

While Okamura remains highly respected in Japan, his Irish work and experience, crucial to both his oeuvre and his personal life, had never been studied until now. 

This exhibition is produced by Photo Museum Ireland in collaboration with the Okamura Archive, Tokyo, and the Estate of Akihiko Okamura, Hakodate.

Hardcover, 19,5 x 28 cm
160 pages
75 colour photographs

Trish Lambe, Photo Museum Ireland
Pauline Vermare
Masako Toda, director of Okamura Archives
Seán O’Hagan, Northern Irish writer and Guardian photo critic
Kusi Okamura, photographer’s daughter

This book has received the support of
Antoine de Galbert Foundation
and the Photo Museum Ireland

The Memories of Others
Photo Museum Ireland, Dublin
April 11 to July 6, 2024

Akihiko Okamura’s biography:
Photographer Akihiko Okamura was born in 1929 in Tokyo. He began training in medicine but dropped out, joining the editorial team at New Weekly in 1961. Assigned to a story in Bangkok, he turned to photography, going on to record international conflicts. He distinguished himself as a very important war photographer in Vietnam in the 1960s. There, he photographed, among others, the prisoners of war held by the Vietcong after he himself was held by them for 53 days. His work appeared in Life and other major publications at the time. Constantly striving to tell the story of conflicts and of human rights violations, Okamura’s photojournalism took him to conflict zones from Ethiopia to Biafra, and Northern Ireland. He cited his own “dark memory” of childhood terror in Tokyo under second world war bombing attacks as the source of his urge to tell the story of conflicts through pictures. Akihiko Okamura settled in Ireland with his family in 1969 and lived
there until he passed away in 1985.

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