Werner Bischof, 1951 Japan

by Xavier Encinas

In 1951 Werner Bischof leaves Europe for the first time. His journey in Asia, which lasted two years.


Magnum Photos assigned every photographer to select a young man and woman in the country he/she was visiting – interviewing each using the same questionnaire, herein creating a fascinating portrait of a future generation.
"Generation X" was published throughout the world. The revenues generated enabled Magnum to undertake other less profitable journalistic projects.

Werner Bischof was given the assignment of photographing the war in Korea. The way there took him through Japan, which was in use by the Americans as a back base for their serviceman's "rest and recreation". Bischof got his work done in Korea, but it was Japan that won his heart. He stayed for almost a year.

“Children are the true paradise in Japan, so fresh, so undemocratic, so apolitical, gazing at everything with big eyes.”

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