写真集 =フォトブック = アーティストブック = スタイルブック

Difference between 写真集, フォトブック, アーティストブック and スタイルブック

Outside Japan, they’re usually lumped together as one thing: Photo book or PB. There is nothing wrong with it because they are similar to a large degree, but you may have come across seiyuu merchandise labelled 1st 写真集 and 1st フォトブック and wonder about the difference. Since almost none of these publications have English translations, keep an eye out for these Japanese characters on the covers.

写真集shashinshū. These are photo books but it is more accurate to call them photo albums or photo collections. This is the more common variety that exclusively feature photos revolving around one or a few themes with little to no text from the author or subject. No essays. No dedications. Possibly a few descriptions or a foreword at the beginning but nothing in its main content that explains what the pictures are telling, so the enjoyment comes from figuring that out or just absorbing it as is. These items may feature an extra disc that contains behind the scenes video content.

Examples: Minami Tanaka’s Last Teen Summer. Yoshioka Mayu’s SwitchNanami Yamashita BaciamiKaya Okuno’s Erua. Maaya Uchida’s étoileYuuma Uchida’s UuuumaKazuki Kato’s Voyage.

フォトブックfoto bukkuphoto book. These items include words from the author or the model as part of the main content. It could be anything from an explanation of the concept as it develops, to a fun A-Z gallery theme essay, to a photo retrospective. Or all of it. However, interviews at the end of the book do not count. This is a relatively new term so older photo books that may fall into this category are not labelled as such.

Examples: Okuno Kaya’s Kayatan. Minami Tanaka’s Twenties. UMake’s EncounterShugo Nakamura’s ShugoToshiki Masuda’s another STORY.

アーティストブック – ātisuto bukkuartist book. These are less common items that are so-called “art in the form of a book”. They tend to be autobiographical as it tells something about the person through their expression of art and it’s rare enough that they get classified under shashinshū.

Examples: Kazuki Kato Artist Book SINGER-Rough Diamond-Mamoru Miyano’s Journey.

スタイルブック – sutairu bukku. lit. style book or fashion book. These items showcase a seiyuu‘s fashion sense as it pertains to a theme. Aside from images of them wearing various clothes, they also contain specific information such as brand and price. They may also contain make-up tips, processes, and recommendations to get the look being featured. Other content usually found in other photo book types (such as interviews and Q&As) may also be included. Like artist books, they are not as common so they tend to get classified under other types, foto bukku in this case.

Examples: Takatsuki Kanako Style book C. Sumire Uesaka 25YEARS STYLE BOOK Sumipedia.

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