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March 11, 2022

Black and White Photos of Tokyo’s Street Portraits in the Early 1980s

In Japan during the 1980s, the economy was in a boom where buyers found themselves paying the highest prices for goods and commodities.

As of March 1980, the unemployment rate in Japan was 4.9%; a very low number compared to the unemployment rate during the height of the 1990s. The following decade would see Japan’s economy decline substantially, giving rise to the name the ‘Lost Decade’.

In the 1980s, Tokyo was starting to resemble other large metropolitan cities around the world, of course with a Japanese flavor. In the 1960s and ’70s, it was fresh, naive, mujaki, sweet, and nothing like other big cities around to world.

These fascinating black and white photos were taken by Lawrence Impey that show street portraits of Tokyo in April 1981.


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