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.
“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.”
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.”
Read more at StarAdvertiser.com…