top コラムRecommended photobook12 Three Miniature photobooks 豆本写真集3選

Recommended photobook

12 Three Miniature photobooks 豆本写真集3選

John Sypal

Enjoyment of photobooks is a hobby of acquisition, with each new addition to your collection taking up just a little bit more of the limited bookshelf space you have available. Tall, oversized books in particular can be difficult to find proper space for. The three books I wish to share with you this week- the smallest in my collection- will fit anywhere. 


These books vary in tone and size and I enjoy all of them for different reasons. For me perhaps the strongest shared bond is their size- The dimensions of which they were created is just as important as their content- if not more so.  


From largest to smallest:



This isn’t a pack of Shuangxi cigarettes- it’s Thomas Sauvin's brilliant, cult-favorite "Until Death Do Us Part". The book, published by Jiahzazhi press in 2015, is comprised of found negatives from his magnificent Beijing Silvermine project. These images- salvaged from abandoned negatives destined for recycling, are amateur snapshots capturing/documenting/celebrating the gleeful incorporation of cigarettes in Chinese wedding parties. 


The book is the size of a pack of cigarettes (5.30 x 8.30 x 2.10cm) and comes in a slipcase that mimics the actual Shunangxi box. This chunky 108 page book is not only one of the smallest but also one of the most interestingly designed ones on my shelves. Its construction is so vividly clever (and apt!) that it pushes beyond what a photobook can be. It’s not a mere vessel for images- like the best books, it is in and of itself a complete work of art. 


Seiji Kumagai’s SEIJI, measuring mere 4.5 x 5.5 x 1cm, has a cover designed as a tiny version of a big camera, the Plaubel Makina, a 6x7 medium format rangefinder. The attention to detail is impressive- the book’s spine feature a photograph the right side of the Makina, and the back of the book, the back of the camera.  The “lens” is a hole which gets its shine from the silver-foil on the inner cover, folded into itself. Amazing.  

Even more amazing is that the pages of this photobook are actually smaller than the actual frames of Fuji Acros 120 film the images were taken on. Normally, photographers shoot medium format film for its tonal richness and capabilities for enlargement. So, a book which so cleverly and flatly denies the singular validity of the usual approach… I find this kind of cheekiness absolutely charming. And yet, I still kind of want to see the original images as 16x20 silver prints…



The smallest in my collection is a hardcover(!) photobook that came with a pack of Pucho taffy candies in 2011. This was a series of 12 books of members of the idol group AKB48. Since I am neither an AKB48 or Pucho fan, I ended up only buying this single volume from the set. 

This fourteen-page hardcover (!!) book is not just smaller than a roll of film, it’s about as big as an SD card. In each volume a girl from the group is shown in a bikini posing with anthropomorphic candies styled to look like them, because, of course they are. I mean, why wouldn’t they? If you’re making a 2.5 x 3.5cm hardcover (!!!) book you might as well run with it all the way into the end-zone of team hilarity. This tiny hardcover (!!!!) book even comes with a tiny obi belt. Inspecting it closely you’ll find that, unlike some of the larger A4 Japanese idol girl bikini photobooks, it says "DVD not included".  However, it does include a small box for storage- this makes it the only book in my collection to come with a choking hazard label.


I think there are a few things to take away from these books- clever concepts for photobooks don’t have to be limited to visual ideas, going large isn’t the only way to make a statement, and most importantly, not everything has to be so serious all the time.  There’s the added bonus of being able to find space for them on any shelf.









絶大な人気を誇る、トーマス・ソーヴィンの『雙喜 / Until Death Do US Part』という写真集です。2015年にJiahzazhi pressから出版されました。


壮大な北京銀鉱プロジェクト(the Beijing Silvermine project)で、この写真集の写真はリサイクルされる運命にある「捨てられたネガ」から救出されたものです。













さらに「すごい」のは、このフォトブックのページは、撮影された富士フイルム アクロス 120フィルムの実際のコマよりも小さいことです。























  • トーマス・ソーヴィン『雙喜 / Until Death Do US Part』
  • 87×55mm・108ページ・ハードカバー・付属品 煙草箱・英文/中文
  • 出版社=假杂志/Jiazazhi Press(2015年発行)
  • 熊谷聖司 豆本写真集『SEIJI©︎』
  • 45×55×10mm・ケース付き
  • 出版社=Banquet(2002年刊行)
  • ぷっちょワールド×AKB48ちょ「超ミニ写真集」
  • 35×23×7mm・ハードカバー・全12種
  • 出版=UHA味覚糖(2011年刊行)


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