Description

It was at the suggestion of a Newsweek staff member that Hiroji Kubota made the trip from New York to document the 1963 March on Washington, where he would capture the scene in this image. It was witnessing the momentous event, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic ‘I have a dream’ speech, that motivated Kubota to embark on a new chapter in his work photographing the US.

I see the giving and receiving of photographs as something beautiful and personal

Hiroji Kubota
© Hiroji Kubota | Magnum Photos

Hiroji Kubota was born in Tokyo in 1939, the second son of a successful fish merchant, and lived through Japan’s disruptive war years. After graduating in political science from Tokyo’s University of Waseda in 1962, Kubota moved to the US, settling in Chicago, where he continued photographing while supporting himself by working in a Japanese catering business.

He became a freelance photographer in 1965, and his first assignment for the UK newspaper The Times was to Jackson Pollock’s grave in East Hampton. In 1968, Kubota returned to live in Japan, where his work was recognized with a Publishing Culture Award from Kodansha in 1970. The next year he became a Magnum associate.

As well as making significant bodies of work in the United States, Kubota has photographed the majority of the Asian continent, spending the most time in China and Japan, where he created several deeply researched series.

© Hiroji Kubota | Magnum Photos

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