A selection of images by this artist can be viewed here
Nagano had not intended to become a photographer until a chance meeting with Yonosuke Natori through Jun Miki. After graduating in economics from Keio University in 1947, Natori hired him as an editor for the newly-launched magazine Shukan Sun News. This gave Nagano the chance to observe top photographers such as Ihee Kimura on location. He left the magazine in 1949 to become a photographer for the Iwanami Shashin Bunko series, for which he travelled all over Japan to take documentary pictures for over 60 volumes. He went freelance in 1954 and began to establish his reputation as a documentary photographer.
Nagano is best known as a street photographer of urban scenes in Tokyo, in which he places an emphasis on the ‘now’ of the time. From purely objective documentary photographs, he began to move towards a more subjective approach. In exhibitions such as A Strange Perspective in Tokyo (1986) Nagano sought to convey the difficulties that accompanied the breakneck pace of economic growth and change throughout Japan’s reconstruction. A retrospective of his work, A Chronicle of Japan: Nagano Shigeichi, a Life in Photography, was shown at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in 2000.
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