Graffiti Japan

© 2007 Remo Camerota

Design/Production: Christopher D Salyers & Eri Hamaji

Editing: Buzz Poole

Typefaces used:

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may be used, reproduced, stored, transmitted or copied in any form or by

any means (electronic, mechanical,photocopying, or otherwise) without prior written

permission, except in the case of short excerpts embodied in critical articles and

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provided notification is sent to the publisher.

Library of Congress Control Number:

2007937472

Printed and bound in China by Asia Pacific Offset

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 First edition

All rights reserved

This edition © 2007

Mark Batty Publisher

36 West 37th Street, Penthouse

New York, NY 10018


ISBN-10: 0-9795546-0-8

ISBN-13: 978-0-9795546-0-5

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GRAFFITI JAPAN

by REMO camerota

mark batty publisher

new york

Video production,

film production,

Melbourne Australia,

remo,

remo camerota,

whitewall,

whitewall studios,

graffiti japan,

graffiti,

photographer , author,

photography,

rapid ear movement,

Music Video production,

Feature Film production,

Editing,

post production,

After effects,

special effects house,

Japan,

Australia,

Corporate video production,

Branding,

marketing,

Design,

art and design,

graphic design,

motion graphic design,

motion graphics,

art,

art and design,

comic book design,

drawing,

photography,

professional photography,

fashion photography,

rock photography,

rock videos,

punk videos,

fine art,

 
   By 
Remo Camerota  
Mark Batty Publisher / New York
graffiti japan

Preface by Remo Camerota.....................6

Introduction by KRESS........................8

About Japan.................................10

Artists

BELX2.....................................12

SKLAWL....................................20

MISSILE...................................28

SUIKO.....................................30

EMAR......................................38

TENGA/3AM.................................42

NANASHI CREW..............................46

KRESS.....................................48

FATE......................................54

PHIL......................................58

SHIZENTOMOTEL.............................62

HITOZUKI CREW (SASU+KAMI).................72

QP........................................82

ESOW......................................84

Places

Hiroshima.................................86

Kanagawa..................................94

Tokyo....................................114

Overseas Presence..........................130

Shops & Shutters...........................136

Street.....................................138

I love graffiti. Being an artist and photographer inspired me to create a graffiti book

different from any I have ever seen. While a small number of books about graffiti in Japan

exist, this one, thanks to all the artists kind enough to welcome me into their communities

when I lived in their country, is the most definitive, relaying to readers how the

Japanese have absorbed and reinterpreted this Western art form.

At the onset of this project, I knew plenty about the graffiti and street art scene in my

hometown of Melbourne, Australia, but I knew very little about Japanese graffiti. Thanks

to the internet, I was able to get the basic lay of the land. I found websites that really

caught my eye and emailed. SUIKO was the first to respond.

I had already booked a ticket for Japan, but didn’t really know where to start. SUIKO

invited me to stay at his place and photograph his work. I didn’t know it at the time

but this trip was to change my life. SUIKO lives in Hiroshima, which wasn’t high on my

list of places to visit. But it was a great contact, an amazingly generous offer and I

really dug SUIKO’s work so I figured it was essential to go down there.

Sticking out like a sore thumb and unable to speak the language, I arrived in Hiroshima.

I called SUIKO; we had never actually spoken to one another and communication was tough,

to say the least. This resulted in him trying to meet me at the back of the train station,

while I was waiting out front. Two hours later he finally figured I was somewhere else

and found me. We went to his home, a small flat on the edge of a river in Hiroshima that

he shares with the rest of his family. In no time, we were out on the streets checking

out graffiti. SUIKO took me to huge walls that he and his friends had painted, basically

showing me the scene from the ground up. I would never have found some of these places

without his help.

We hung out for a week then it was time for me to go to Tokyo where I had booked a hostel.

SUIKO decided to visit his friend EMAR, so the two of us took the train to Tokyo.

We arrived in the middle of a torrential rain, and before we even got far from the train

station, I came to learn that my camera screen had cracked and my laptop had busted after

it was dropped. Both got fixed, but it wasn’t a great start to this leg of the journey.

EMAR’s place is a tiny fifth-floor room in the Honancho neighborhood of Tokyo. The room

was big enough for three men to sit in and that’s it. It was there on that floor where I

tinkered with my computer, and eventually got it working again. I was getting ready to

head out to the hostel but EMAR insisted that I sleep on floor, right there next to him and

SUIKO. Anyone who has ever traveled knows that you can’t turn down such hospitality, and

so it was that I spent the night on the extremely dusty and uncomfortable floor, in EMAR’s

words, in “ a very funny situation,” the first of many such situations to follow.

I ended up spending a month on EMAR’s floor, forging a new relationship with another great

artist, which resulted in my being accepted into the NANASHI crew. While it all felt so

natural at the time, later I met someone that was quite impressed by the fact that I

had been welcomed into this crew, as the artists are on guard all the time, skeptical

of strangers. During that month, EMAR and I set out and toured all over Tokyo. Through

him and SUIKO I met all of the artists featured in this book, and was able to see work

that people outside the scenes of the crews have never seen, like when BELX2 drove EMAR

and me to Yokohama. We visited her old neighborhood – yakuza territory. She had to phone

ahead to make sure that we would not hassled for walking around with cameras. It was

still a scary situation.

On this first fact-finding trip to Japan, not only did I get to visit and document all the

hot-spots, I also participated in wall paintings and went to gallery openings and met

writers and editors from the Japanese graffiti magazine Kaze. I got a first-hand taste of

the graffiti in Japan, prompting me to move there. With my cameras and computer I went

to live in sunny Shimokitazawa, allowing me to compile this book with the blessing of

all the featured artists – the most prolific graffiti artists in the country. I lived with

them and like them, shooting 10,000 or so photographs, which have been edited down to

comprise this book.

Please enjoy Graffiti Japan.

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