Nepal Himalaya. Shiro Shirahata. Yama-Kei Publishers, Tokyo, 1983. In the United States, Heian International, P.O. Box 2402, South San Francisco. 232 pages. 115 full-page color plates (10" x 14½") with commentary on each, map showing geographic positions and altitudes of 140 peaks, plus introductory essay and photographer’s notes. Boxed. Price $75.
The superb pictures in this outstanding book are the result of three years of arduous and dedicated effort, whose purpose it is to show the major peaks of Nepal and as far as possible the variety and personality of each. Shirahata separates his mountains into eight regions, marks their heights and locations on a map and gives special information about each peak pictured, such as the routes of ascent, expeditions involved or circumstances connected with the taking of the photograph. This book is not only one of the most splendid collections of photographs yet published of the Nepalese Himalaya but is also a pictorial dictionary of Nepal’s mountains for anyone interested in climbing there. It should be noted that it limits itself to the mountains themselves in all their stark beauty. There are few foregrounds and no pictures at all of the people of the country in all their rich variety. This important book, except for a brief introduction, is about the mountains only and as such should be admired and used for years to come. The superlative quality of the photographs and their superb printing deserve special recognition.
Robert H. Bates and Waldo H. Holcombe