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OHARA Ken 小原 健 (1942- ) Best known for his book, One, featuring 500 close-up human faces photographed in New York. Published in 1970 and recently re-issued.

Education Studied photography at Nihon Univ. 1961-62 but dropped out. Moved to New York in 1962. Studied at Art Students League, New York 1963-66.

Career Assistant at Richard Avedon Studios and Hiro Studio 1966-70. Freelance photographer for Harper's Bazaar. Traveled around Africa 1971-72.

Married Cora Lee Macevoy in 1974. Received Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship in photography 1974-75. Producer and Technical Director at Menken and Seltzer Studios Inc. in New York 1978-82.

Operated Ohara Studio Inc.in New York and Los Angeles 1983-91. Moved to Glendale, California in 1988.


Reviewed on: 2001.05.8 Last modified: 2005-04-03

Thick book of 500 close-up faces taken in New York in the 1960s. Classic photo book originally published in 1970.


Published: 1970, 1997 Publisher: Tsukiji Shokan Publishing (1970), Taschen (1997) ISBN: 3822884391 Price in Japan: ¥-- Qualities: Soft cover, B/W photos Size: A4, 500 pp. Language: No text

Depending on how you look at it, you will find this book to be frightening or enlightening. In my case, it was the latter. It is a thick collection of 500 B/W photos of people's faces. As you can see on the book's cover, the face is closely cropped so that you only see the eyes, nose, and mouth. This is how it is for all the 500 faces. It is a monotonous and seemingly never-ending collection of humanity. They are people of all ages and races.

The eyes, nose, and mouth are located at the same position on each page. Their individualism and differences disappear. It shows how people are really the same despite the differences we always see in each other. It also proves that the human face is much more than just the eyes, nose, and mouth.

When this book was first published in 1970, it caused a major stir in Japan's photography circles. It was quite shocking. In 1997, the book was reissued by Taschen in Germany. The original edition now fetches a premium price.