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Untitled (Nagoya)

A work made of gelatin silver print, from the series "floods and japanese".

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print, from the series "floods and japanese".


1959, printed 1966


Shomei Tomatsu
Japanese, 1930–2012

About this artwork

One of the key figures in Japanese postwar photography, Shomei Tomatsu made photographs that addressed the dominant issues shaping the country’s identity: the destruction of the atomic bomb, the subsequent rebuilding of Japan into a modern society, and the ongoing American military and cultural presence. This photograph was taken in Nagoya in the aftermath of the 1959 Ise Bay typhoon, one of the most devastating in Japanese history. It does not directly address the 5,000 casualties or the families left homeless by the disaster; instead, it depicts a boot, a traditional sandal, and a modern ladies’ pump rising up from the black sludge, suggesting the Japanese islands or a population adrift. The sturdy boot alone, most likely manufactured in the United States, emerges tenaciously from the muck and appears most capable of moving on after the disaster.

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Shomei Tomatsu


Untitled (Nagoya)




Made 1955


Gelatin silver print, from the series "Floods and Japanese"


23.2 × 23.2 cm (image); 36 × 34.2 cm (mount)

Credit Line

Photography Gala Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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