Daido Moriyama is widely recognized as one of Japan's most important and influential photographers, particularly for his depictions of what he saw as the breakdown of traditional values in post-war Japan. Born in 1938 in Osaka, Moriyama moved to Tokyo in 1961, becoming a fully-fledged freelance photographer in 1964. His work is characterised by powerful, high contrast black-and-white pictures, concentrating on the little-seen parts of the city and highlighting the effects of industrialisation on modern life in Japan. He has showcased his photography in dozens of extremely influential artists books which have had an enormous impact on the world of photography. One of these is "Tales of Tono", first published in 1976, which features work shot in the countryside of northern Honshu, Japan. Taking its name from a collection of Japanese rural folk legends, its non-narrative diptychs display a nascent nostalgia, whilst the formal qualities of the photos embrace the grainy and raw techniques that Moriyama brought to his more urban subject matter.
Published here for the first time in English, to coincide with a survey of the artist's work with William Klein at Tate Modern, "Tales of Tono" is the perfect introduction to one of the world's most beautifully unsettling photographers.