RUN RUN Makoto

A collection of lovely photos by fave photographer Kawashima Kotori

27 August, 2012 by

RUN RUN Makoto is a photo book by the renowned Japanese photographer Kawashima Kotori and featuring Passpo’s Okunaka Makoto. While it has been out for quite a while already, as a big fan of Kawashima’s works, RUN RUN Makoto is deserving of mention as possibly one of my favorite photo books to have come across.

Those laying their hands upon the book will immediately noticeable that it is presented in an horizontal format quite uncharacteristic of your typical idol photo book. And sure enough, RUN RUN Makoto distances itself from Okunaka’s idol reputation, with Makoto even going as far as to use a different signature for this project. Those first press versions of the book came with a random large frame-worthy sized print.

Run Run まこと.

Bonus print and sign.

In certain ways, this book can be compared to our previous reviewed photo book Yu, Yu, Yukirin in that the entirety of the book appears to consist of photos taken by a 35mm film camera. RUN RUN Makoto is done in a lot more of Kawashima’s trademark style than say Secret Serina and this book featuring “Mako-chan” is a lot closer to his best selling “Mirai-chan” book. Kawashima uses his Nikon F6 to amazing results.

It’s no secret that Kawashima favors landscape shots, and each photograph gets to take up an entire full color page. While not the norm, the book’s horizontal format allows these photographs to shine, with the entire book spanning 160 photographs.

Each photo takes up a full page.

Kawashima favors landscape shots.

Lovely photos.

The magic of a wide angle lens is that it captures about as much of the surroundings as the subject. In this way, the scenes are as much a subject of each photo as Okunaka. This allows for a story to be told with each photograph, instead of the typical gravure shots.

The photographer uses proportion and perspective to stunningly graphic results.

The scenes are as much a focus as the model.

Kawashima seems to have been given free rein when it comes to RUN RUN Makoto, and he and Okunaka work magic together. Perhaps it is her younger age that makes her more impressionable or her own quirkiness that shine through in the photos but the works tend to be a lot more comfortable and imaginative than Kawashima’s works with Serina. As a result, many of the photographs fringe on Kawashima’s surreal style and can be pretty bizarre by idol standards.

Pretty out there.

At least by idol standards.

Moments captured on film.

Each picture seems to tell a story.

The shots in the book are spread out through a great variety of locations, especially when you consider that about every 6 pictures out of the 160 features a different theme. I had a hard time choosing just some of the many lovely photos to show in this review. Similarly, there were actually many more great photos shown in early previews that didn’t make the cut into the book.

Lots of different locations.

Rich saturated images.

A nice point is that the settings are established.

Like in Kawashima’s other works, there’s a lot of nature and ambiance captured in the photos. In fact, a couple of photos do not even feature Okunaka at all. One nice point is that the locations are established, allowing for a better feel of each scene in a very cinematic way. In the others that do, he uses Okunaka Makoto’s diminutive size as a contrast to the surroundings to good effect.

Being a Japanese photo book and all, RUN RUN Makoto does of course come with the expected bikini photos. But the ones inside are tastefully done and less in your face.

Lots of imagery.

Even the arbitrary bikini scenes are tastefully done.

Perhaps the only qualm about RUN RUN Makoto is the paper quality. The glossy paper used is thankfully not the worst I’ve encountered and doesn’t affect the prints. But to accommodate the sheer number of pages, it uses stock just slightly above most magazines and is thin enough to crease with repeated flipping. It’s not as bad as Mirai-chan which literally falls apart after a short time but a book like this is likely to see lots of wear.

A reference to Kawashima’s most popular works.

Not your typical idol photo book.

A whopping 160 full sized photos.

Fans of either will appreciate the book.

Judging from the amount of modeling work that Okunaka Makoto has been enjoying as of late, it looks like RUN RUN Makoto has made her somewhat of a darling with the photographic community in Japan.

As always, you can find copies of sale online. RUN RUN Makoto retails for 1900 yen. This is one photo book I definitely recommend getting your hands on especially for fans of either Kawashima Kotori or Okunaka.

Definitely recommended.

Back cover.

On a related note, a final question to our readers. Would you like to see us cover older photo books as well or even Passpo related content in the future?


Supermerlion's Webmaster and Editor-in-Chief. Singaporean Nikkeijin with over 12 years of experience in the media industry. Producer at a Japanese entertainment company. Former Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Programmer, Manager and Consultant. Shoots with a Canon 5Dmk2 and Sony RX100-2.