Sumiko Kiyooka Photograph Magazine 2010.23
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Sumiko Kiyooka: A Pioneer of Lesbian Photography in Japan
Sumiko Kiyooka is a Japanese photographer and writer who is best known for her books that depict lesbian lives and culture in Japan and abroad. Between 1968 and 1973, she published eight books that variously contained photography, non-fiction, prose fiction, and poetry on lesbian themes[^4^]. These books were part of a \"lesbian boom\" in the Japanese media that coincided with the rise of feminism and sexual liberation movements[^4^].
Kiyooka's non-fiction and early lesbian photography document and offer a practical guide to contemporary lesbian life in Japan and beyond, including Korea, Vietnam, and Okinawa. She also draws on lesbian history focused on ancient Greece, Japan, and elsewhere to make utopian claims about the future for lesbians in Japan and globally[^4^]. Her photos are candid, intimate, and erotic, capturing the diversity and beauty of lesbian relationships. She also challenges the male gaze and stereotypes of lesbians by presenting them as active agents of their own sexuality and identity[^4^].
One of her most famous works is Photograph Magazine 2010.23, which was published in 1970. This book contains a series of photos of nude women posing in various settings, such as a beach, a forest, a hotel room, and a studio. The photos are accompanied by short poems or captions that express the feelings and thoughts of the women. The book is a celebration of female bodies and desires, as well as a critique of the patriarchal society that oppresses them[^2^]. The book was controversial at the time of its publication, as it was seen as pornographic and immoral by some critics. However, it was also praised by others as a groundbreaking work of art and literature that gave voice to lesbian experiences[^2^].
Kiyooka was born in 1935 in Tokyo. She started her career as a journalist for the Asahi Shimbun newspaper in 1958[^5^]. She became interested in photography after meeting Nobuyoshi Araki, a famous photographer who later became her husband[^5^]. She learned photography from him and started to take pictures of her own. She also began to write novels and essays on various topics, such as travel, culture, politics, and sexuality. She divorced Araki in 1971 and continued to pursue her own artistic vision[^5^]. She is still active today as a photographer and writer.Kiyooka's work has been recognized and celebrated by various awards and exhibitions. In 1971, she won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for her novel Shiroi Heya (White Room), which is based on her own experiences as a lesbian journalist[^1^]. In 1973, she received the Tamura Toshiko Prize for her book Onna no Shiki (The Seasons of Women), which is a collection of essays and photos on lesbian culture[^1^]. In 1989, she was awarded the Japan Foundation Award for her contributions to cultural exchange[^3^]. She has also held solo and group exhibitions of her photos in Japan and abroad, such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, and the International Center of Photography in New York[^3^].
Kiyooka is regarded as a pioneer and an icon of lesbian photography in Japan. She has influenced and inspired many other lesbian artists and activists, such as Nakamura Ching, Matsuura Rieko, and Morita Yoko. She has also contributed to the development and visibility of lesbian literature, history, and culture in Japan and beyond. Her work is a testament to the power and diversity of lesbian expression and identity. 061ffe29dd