Currently Reading: 'Odo Yakuza Tokyo' by Anton Kusters / by 3.1


I first discovered this project by Belgian photographer Anton Kusters about four years ago when he did an interview for a website about his experience of being permitted to photograph members of the yakuza (ヤクザ). I had been trying to get ahold of Anton's book for the last four years, having long missed out on the first printing of the publication, and somehow missing the second run. Finally, as a result of much demand, Anton released a third edition for sale, and I finally got my mitts on it.


It's a book of fleeting moments, with contrasts between light and dark, tied together with a strong narrative in all of the images. The chapters of the book are divided and marked by beautiful brush calligraphy work of various kanji, their meanings used as the headings for each chapter.

Anton doesn't try to glorify the yakuza in any way, but he does in fact show them in a completely different light – as blokes in civvies, sitting around in a dimly lit room, drinking beers; to blokes in sharp suits attending a funeral of one of their friends.

You can find a brief about the book and samples of some of the images from the book on Anton's 'Odo Yakuza Tokyo' page here: