‘Tokyo Jazz Joints’ Chronicles Transient Beauty of Intimate Music Haunts

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Philip Arneill and James Catchpole’s book Tokyo Jazz Joints documents a vanishing world of Japanese jazz culture.

(Photo: Courtesy Kehrer Verlag)

Germany-based publisher Kehrer Verlag has released Tokyo Jazz Joints, a visual chronicle of Japanese jazz bars and coffee shops that captures the transient beauty of intimate gathering spaces where time seems to cease to exist. Tokyo Jazz Joints is a documentary photography project by Northern Irish photographer Philip Arneill in collaboration with American broadcaster James Catchpole, both long-term residents of Japan. The hardcover, 168-page book contains 129 color illustrations.

Established in 2015 to document Tokyo’s myriad jazu kissa, the project gradually expanded to cover the whole of Japan. The dedicated jazz listening spaces depicted in the new collection — far removed from the chaos of the country’s modern urban landscapes — are slowly vanishing in the face of changing trends, aging customers and an overall movement toward gentrification. The book aims to preserve the essence of these iconic, living museums before they disappear forever.

For more information on Tokyo Jazz Joints, visit the publisher’s website, or go to tokyojazzjoints.com. DB



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