QFT presents the debut Irish exhibition of TOKYO JAZZ JOINTS, an ongoing photographic project, created by photographer Philip Arneill and broadcaster James Catchpole, which since 2015 has documented a hidden, rapidly vanishing musical subculture.
Starting in the Tokyo Metropolitan area, the project has since expanded to cover the whole of Japan; it has documented over 160 jazz bars and jazz kissa to date, and has been exhibited and featured in print and online media worldwide, including The Times, SüdDeutsche Zeitung, The Japan Times, All About Jazz, The Vinyl Factory and Wax Poetics. It also has an accompanying podcast series of over 40 episodes which places the research in the wider context of audio culture and Japanese Society.
The full project can be accessed at tokyojazzjoints.com.
Jazz has been a part of the Japanese musical landscape since before World War II, brought initially through imported 78” records in the early '20s, and by visiting American and Filipino jazz bands on military leave. Following Art Blakey’s tour in 1961, the floodgates opened for jazz to enter the mainstream. The Japanese word kissaten (喫茶店) translates directly as ‘tea-drinking shop’. There are approximately 500 jazz kissa spread across Japan, and while they originated as audio-listening bars in the post-war years, they peaked in ubiquity in the late '60s/early '70s, during which they were often a hub for counter-culture movements.
TOKYO JAZZ JOINTS will be exhibited in the QFT foyer from Saturday 25 September until the end of October. The exhibition launches with the European premiere of Jazz Kissa Basie, a documentary exploring the history of the legendary venue, with an introduction by photographer Philip Arneill.
This event is part of Japan 2021: Over 100 years of Japanese Cinema, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network. bfijapan.co.uk