A LITTLE FLIGHT READING
WHEREelse in the world could a giant bronze spider sit as easily in the landscape as a 14m-high meditating Buddha? Japan’s striking contrasts — from salarymen rushing to squeeze on to Tokyo’s high-speed subway to the sedate rituals of an ancient tea ceremony in Kyoto — are the focus of this stunning photo essay, the result of seven years’ work by photographer Iago Corazza and documentary writer and filmmaker Greta Ropa. It’s a joyous and colourful insight into this nation of extremes, including all the usual suspects (close-ups of nappy-clad sumo wrestlers, geisha in their stark white face paint, the startling, ultraviolet hair and gothic garb of Harajuku’s eccentric teens) juxtaposed with a series of portraits of a lesser-known subculture. The ancient artistic form of kinbaku, or Japanese bondage, as depicted by a game young lass dangling from the ceiling in one shot, looks a little uncomfortable.