With all the current problems facing Japan's rural communities, "Salt of the Earth" at the Tokyo Gallery is a visual contribution to an ongoing debate on their value and survival. The rhetoric of the show espouses the humble virtues of life in Amami, a group of islands between Kagoshima and Okinawa, though the sum total of the images, whose content is heavily filtered by stylistic devices, does not match the appeal of a gentler way of life.

The influence of Robert Frank and Daido Moriyama are clear to see in the New York-based Yuichi Hibi's black-and-white street photography, and in the focus on "culture" being different ways of life, not the just the recreational activity of an educated elite.

Frank's Beat Generation publication "The Americans" and Moriyama's 1976 "Tales of Tono" are antecedents in this respect, and Hibi's grainy, heavy "Dutch angle" photography covers aesthetic territory already well-traveled, even accounting for the fact that "Salt of the Earth" dates back to the early 1990s.