A Criminal Investigation by Watabe Yukichi | en
A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
By a railway track, in a local police station, down in the streets, in the tanneries around Tokyo, in the markets, an investigator follows a trail, in a strange case. He is tracking the murderer of Sato Tadashi, parts of whose body (his nose, two fingers and penis) have been discovered on 13 January 1958, hidden in a vat of oil in the Irabaki Prefecture. Yukichi Watabe, then a young photojournalist, was granted exceptional authorisation to shadow the investigators.
Thus the photographer documents an intermediate situation - neither the moment of the murder, nor that of the arrest – akin to a search for identity. By following the scattered clues, Watabe embraces this subtle turning-point there is in any investigation, when the detective puts himself in the killer’s shoes so as to adopt his way of thinking. And when the man dissolves, there surfaces a Japan that is still hesitating between its pre-war geography and a new, urban visage, symbol of its spectacular recovery.
Following the extended metaphor of troubled identity, the codes no longer belong to photography only but also to cinema: a sequential logic, a certain linearity and a completely narrative framing: images unfold and involve the onlooker. Shot after shot, the mystery is engulfing those in charge of solving it.
Xavier Barral/LE BAL 2012
Hardcover, Japanese binding
100 pages, B/W images
21 x 29 cm
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