StarAdvertiser: Waikiki ’73 – Black and White Photos from the 70s

By Steven Mark
Aug 16, 2012

A book of photographs in black and white shows a district’s colorful characters

In 1973, Eric Yanagi was a 22-year-old commercial photographer struggling to get his career started. It was also a time of change for Waikiki, when accelerated commercial and high-rise development began its final encroachment on the few remaining modest, single-family homes in the neighborhood.

So Yanagi, with time on his hands and change happening before his eyes, did what any photographer would do: He started taking photographs.

 Eric Yanagi StarAdvertiser - Waikiki '73 Photos - Jim Caldwell - Redondo BeachEric Yanagi StarAdvertiser - Waikiki '73 Photos - Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

“At the time, I knew it would be important eventually,” said Yanagi.

Even though he wasn’t sure the significance of the work would be recognized until decades later or even after his death, “I knew it would be an important thing to do.”

Eric Yanagi StarAdvertiser - Waikiki '73 Photos - Jim Caldwell Redondo BeachEric Yanagi StarAdvertiser - Waikiki '73 Photos - Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Yanagi, now 60, went on to establish his photography business, taking pictures of buildings, business people and products. He submitted his Waikiki portfolio to various publishers, whose interest ranged from “mild” to “disinterested.”Now Yanagi has self-published his book, which he titled “Waikiki 73.” In stark black-and-white images, the book captures the life and times of the people and a place in transition.Star-Advertiser photo editor George F. Lee said Yanagi’s photos capture Waikiki in a time of transition when “streams of visitors and transients from the mainland, hippies, military personnel and the occasional oddball looking for a place to land would be succeeded by a newer breed of visitor attracted by the tourist mecca we would come to know in the 1980s and beyond.”

Eric Yanagi StarAdvertiser - Waikiki '73 Photos - Jim Caldwell Redondo BeachEric Yanagi StarAdvertiser - Waikiki '73 Photos - Jim Caldwell Redondo BeachEric Yanagi StarAdvertiser - Waikiki '73 Photos - Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Read more at StarAdvertiser.com…

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Jim Caldwell
Redondo Beach

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About jw60sea

Jim Caldwell has over 26 years of experience in the public safety sector in occupations ranging from professional ski patrol, and ocean lifeguard to firefighter. Jim has worked for the Redondo Beach Fire Department for the last 22 years holding successively higher positions of responsibility. For the last six years, Jim has held the rank of Engineer with responsibility for driving and operating the Department’s Engines and Tillered Aerial Ladder Truck. Throughout his career, he has shown a dedication not only to public safety but also community service.
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