RED FLOWER, THE WOMEN OF OKINAWA / 赤花 アカバナー、沖縄の女 by Mao Ishikawa
沖縄出身の写真家、石川真生の作品集。 本書は、沖縄県のコザ市（現沖縄市）や金武町で1975〜77年の間に撮影した処女作『熱き日々 in キャンプハンセン』（1982）からの作品を中心に、未発表の作品を含めたモノクロ写真80点を収録。沖縄の基地の街のバーで働く女性たちの姿を赤裸々に撮った本書は、昨今よりも日本と沖縄、米国の政治的背景が複雑であった時代に、心の赴くままに純粋に青春を謳歌し自由を愛する女性へ、作者が熱き想いを込めて制作。本書は作家が書き下ろしたエッセイに合わせ5つの章で構成され、ボーイフレンドについて噂をしあう女たち、バーに働きにでる姿、家でボーイフレンドと寛ぐ様子、海岸での楽しい午後、そして、未来の沖縄を支える子供たちのポートレイトとまとめられている。70年代中期から後期に撮影された本書は、作家の写真家への道を導くこととなった初期作品として重要な一冊となっている。これまで、沖縄というテーマは日本の著名な写真家（東松照明、森山大道、荒木経惟、北島敬三）の間でも関心の高い主題として人気を集めてきたが、石川は沖縄に生まれ育ち、生涯をかけて沖縄を精力的に撮り続ける女性作家として唯一無二の存在と言える。
関連記事：沖縄人の抵抗を撮る 「大琉球写真絵巻」で歴史描く 石川真生さん（写真家）/ 東京新聞
Red Flower, The Women of Okinawa, is the first United States monograph by Okinawan photographer Mao Ishikawa. Red Flower consists of 80 black & white photographs that date from 1975 to 1977 in Koza and Kin, Okinawa, primarily from Ishikawa’s first book Hot Days in Camp Hansen by A-man Shuppan in 1982, but it also includes unpublished work from the same period. Red Flower exhibits Ishikawa’s celebration of the courageous and honest lives of women she met and befriended while working at military bars at a time when social and political tensions between the US and Japan were on high alert. It consists of five chapters of pictures, followed by her essay dedicated to the publication: girls gossiping about boys, working at bar, meeting their boyfriends at home, enjoying themselves at the beach, and their children for the future of Okinawa. Red Flower is the pivotal work for Ishikawa, since it marks the starting point of her subsequent long career as a photographer. Okinawa has been one of the most popular subjects in the history of Japanese photography, having attracted many renowned Japanese photography masters such as Shomei Tomatsu, Daido Moriyama, Nobuyoshi Araki, and Keizo Kitajima. Born and raised in Okinawa, Ishikawa is, however, the only female photographer for still vigorously making work of Okinawa (and living in Okinawa) in spite of whatever taboo or challenges she came across along the way. Previously Ishikawa made two publications on the same subject. Her first book, Camp Hansen is not, in fact, her monograph since another photographer, Toyomitsu Higa took the photos in the second half of the book. Also, it was regretfully banned due to claims from two girls in the book shortly after it was released, so it is extremely rare and expensive. The other volume of Ishikawa’s Okinawa work was published on the occasion of her exhibition at Yokohama Civic Art Gallery Azamino in 2013. Since it mainly functions as reference to her general work, and it was laid out with large white framing surrounding smaller format photos, it loses the boldness, honesty and urgency which are characteristic of her work. Red Flower features full-bleed images in a large format with intense black and white printing, and successfully makes the original lively spirit and tension of Ishikawa’s legendary Camp Hansen work available again for wider public appreciation.