PRINT February 2013


Tadanori Yokoo, Made in Japan, Tadanori Yokoo, Having Reached a Climax at the Age of 29, I Was Dead, 1965, silk screen on paper, 43 x 31 1/8".

ABBIE HOFFMAN’S 1971 GUIDE TO YIPPIE ACTIVISM famously encouraged readers to “steal this book,” but a curious volume published in Japan four years earlier, Throw Away Your Books, Let’s Get into the Streets, may have done Hoffman one better. A collaboration between two figures central to Tokyo’s cultural underground—designer Tadanori Yokoo and poet, critic, and theater and film impresario Shu¯ji Terayama—Throw Away Your Books was radical even if it was not, in any straightforward sense, a handbook for revolution. Its radicality was a function of its design—and as such, it offers a unique window onto Yokoo’s work. True, Yokoo is best known not for book design but for his 1960s film and theater posters. And for good reason: With their teeming yet precisely calibrated compositions and high-key palettes, these works seize the eye tenaciously, drawing it into rococo fields

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