Tenko is a photobook and collaboration between Japanese photographers Hanayo and Hajime Sawatari.

For Japanese artist Hanayo, her beloved daughter Tenko has always been an important subject. After the birth of Tenko, Hanayo has documented her daughter’s growing up between Tokyo and Berlin, in her double capacity as mother and artist.

One of the first and second books Tenko came into contact with during her childhood was “Shojo Arisu (Alice)” (1973) by Hajime Sawatari, In Hanayo’s photos, Tenko can be seen squatting over the photo book, reading in it as if it were a picture book.

At 15, Tenko met the creator of this favourite book of hers, photographer Hajime Sawatari. After their initial encounter, Tenko went on to become one of Sawatari’s most important photographic subjects. Five years later, the two have collaborated on photographic works that carry the mystical, distant sensuality of the original “Alice” photobook.

The photobook Tenko is an intersection between Hanayo’s photos, taken in her role as Tenko’s mother, and Hajime Sawatari’s mystical, sensual photos inspired by Tenko’s favourite childhood book, Sawatari’s “Alice”.


Published by Case Publishing

Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Dimensions: 210 x 150 mm
ISBN-13: 9784908526039
Publication Date: 2016