This is from the introduction to Setting Sun: Writings by Japanese Photographers. The emphasis is mine, to make this post "more bloggy":
Even the youngest emerging photographers in Japan often find publishers for their work. In no other country do photographers so easily issue monographs; this is partly because, until the last three decades, few outlets other than books and magazines existed there for serious photography. Today, museums and galleries in Japan offer constant venues for fine art photography, and exhibitions abroad steadily increase. Established Japanese artists have worldwide audiences for their photographs. Still, most Japanese photographers prefer books as the ultimate "vehicle" for their projects. Often, they write the texts for their books, as well as magazine articles about their own work and that of other photographers. These opportunities to publish texts as well as images mean that their words have often been as influential as their photographs. Some essays have sparked controversy; others have set parameters for evolving aesthetic alliances, and have established lineages of influence.
I would like to align myself with this tradition.