[Writer, b. 1925, Tokyo, d. 1970, Tokyo.]
This is a photograph, so it is as you see: there are no lies and no deceptions. One can detect here, elevated to an incomparably higher level, the same pathetic emotional appeal that lies concealed in every fake spiritualist photograph, every pornographic photograph; one comes to suspect that the strange, disturbing emotional appeal of the photographic art consists solely in that same repeated refrain: this is a true ghost... this is a photograph, so it is as you see: there are no lies, no deceptions.
... it is here, I would assert without hesitation, that the poetry of the photograph lies. The photographer has gazed clearly, with his own eyes, on unheard-of metamorphoses, and has testified to them.
It seems to me that before the photograph can exist as art it must, by its very nature choose whether it is to be a record or a testimony.
The images which the [press] photographer has filtered from reality, whether particular events or the anguish of human reactions to them, already bear a stamp of authenticity which the photographer is powerless to alter by one jot or tittle; the meaning of the objects, by a process of purification, itself becomes the theme of the work.
If the photographer is to create works that will stand for his spirit in the same way as artists in other genres, he must first—having no ready-made, abstract components such as works and sounds—supply other means to abstraction instead.