Bruce Gilden JAPAN. Asakusa. 1998. Two members of the Yakuza, Japan's mafia. The Yakuza's 23 gangs are Japan's top corporate earners. They model themselves on American gangster fashion from the 1950s. Asakusa. (...)
Bruce Gilden Japanese man gets his hair dyed. 2000 © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden George ABE, right, an ex-Yakuza member and celebrity writer. Yakuza model themselves on American gangster fashion from 1950s. Asakusa. Japan. 1998. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Yakuza, Japan's mafia, at Matsuri festival. The Yakuza's 23 gangs are Japan's top corporate earners. Asakusa. Japan. 1998. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Injured homeless man lies in the middle of the street. Tokyo. Japan. 1999. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Man smoking cigarette. Tokyo. Japan. 1999. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Transvestite outside bar. Shinjuku. Japan. 1999. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden JR station morning rush hour. Shinjuku. Tokyo. Japan. 1996. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Dayworker and homeless man in a government run building. 2000. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Business man at lunchtime outside JR station. Kaeda. Tokyo. Japan. 1996. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Homeless man eats his bagel in the shogee room. 2000. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Raven on pole. Shinjuku. Japan. 1999. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Shinichi being carried out of the bar/restaurant at Giant's birthday party. Kamonomiya. Japan. 1999. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Waitress serving drinks. Shinichi was carried into the Karaoke room after he passed out. The Giant, the leader, is responsible for all those who are in his group. He was left on the floor while the (...)
Bruce Gilden Right Wing Nationalist at Yasakuni temple. Kyoto. Japan. August 15, 1999. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Ken Takahashi wearing a plastic bag on his head at the high school fair. All the girls pretended they were afraid, therefore fueling Ken's comic antics. Kamonomiya. Japan. 1999. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Sasuke & Kenta relaxing during a motorcycle meeting. I was quite amazed when the leader (the older fellow) told them to clean up or to get sodas, they all obeyed immediately as if they were in the (...)

Part of Guernsey Photo Festival 2016, Bruce Gilden presents, Go. Named after one of the most intellectually challenging board games in the world, Go presents Bruce Gilden’s photographic explorations of the darker side of Japan. In striking black and white images, Gilden documents the brutal reality of the Japanese street. In-your-face pictures of Yakuza (mobsters), Bosozoku (members of biker gangs), and street people — characters who are alternately intimidating, bloodied, tattooed, frightening, and dishevelled — are sporadically interspersed with manga cartoons for a revelatory glimpse at a Japan that looks nothing like its familiar image of calm, orderly, hyper-efficient perfection.

Arguing that many of the people in Japan wear a ‘mask of uniformity’, Bruce Gilden wanted to dig deeper to find persons who were both physical and intense and who, in one way or another, stood out from the others. Following this ambition at the end of the 90’s, Bruce Gilden presents another side of the traditional and often stereotypical view of Japanese society and reveals how violence and hardship weave through many aspects of the daily life of Japanese people.

Magnum Photographer Gilden has travelled and exhibited widely around the world and has received numerous awards, including the European Award for Photography, three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and a Japan Foundation fellowship. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2013). He lives in Beacon, New York and is widely considered one of the most important street photographers of his generation.

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