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Japanese photographer Ikko Narahara dies at 88

Ikko Narahara is pictured in 1981. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Ikko Narahara, an internationally renowned photographer widely viewed as a precursor of photographic expression in postwar Japan, has died of heart failure at a nursing facility in Tokyo, his family said Monday. He was 88.

    Narahara came to fame after his photo exhibition debut in 1956 of "Human Land" that captured the sentiment of people living in harsh environments on Sakurajima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture as well as Hashima Island in Nagasaki Prefecture, commonly called Gunkanjima in Japan and known in English as Battleship Island for its silhouette.

    Narahara died Sunday and a funeral will be held Jan. 28 attended by family members and close relatives.

    He received the Most Promising Photographer Award by the Japan Photo Critics Association in 1958 for a photo exhibition called "Domains" while he was studying for a master's degree in art history at Waseda University.

    He formed a photographic cooperative named Vivo the following year with other celebrated artists including Shomei Tomatsu and Eiko Hosoe.

    He attracted international attention after releasing a photo book titled "Where time has stopped," which received the Art Encouragement Prize by the education minister in 1968.

    Narahara also served as a professor at Kyushu Sangyo University between 1999 and 2005.

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