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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.

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