Photo gallery: Kicks Japan

A new book delves into the world of Japanese sneaker freaks

Photo gallery: Kicks Japan

© Geoff Johnson/Kicks Japan

Photo gallery: Kicks Japan
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Japanese sneaker culture gets the coffee book treatment in Kicks Japan, an indulgently illustrated tome that hits bookshops later this month. 'A pair of kicks today incorporates culture, heritage, design, marketing – and neatly wraps it all around your foot,' writes author Maki Okazaki in the book's introduction. 'Each sneaker tells a story about the evolution of street culture and urban fashion.'

Though most people now head to Harajuku to get their kicks fix, Japanese sneaker culture was actually born in Ueno, home to the influential Mita Sneakers store. Kicks Japan opens with an interview with Mita's current creative director and merchandiser, Shigeyuki Kunii, then moves on to some of the big names in the industry, including Onitsuka Tiger and Madfoot!, plus shops like Skit and Undefeated. Later on, we get interviews with graffiti artists, rappers, skateboarders and all-round sneaker nerds, all gorgeously photographed by Tokyo-based snapper Geoff Johnson. While it's clearly aimed at footwear fetishists, there's plenty to interest the casual reader, with digressions into everything from street culture to manga, spiritualism and gender politics.

Click on for a selection of photos featured in the book, plus a few extras that you won't see anywhere else... Photo gallery: Kicks Japan

Kicks Japan is released by Mark Batty Publisher on July 19. See the Kicks Japan website for details

Photo by Geoff Johnson
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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