Abstract Hiroshima (1958) and Children of Chikuho (1960) are photographic books expressing the essence of photographer Ken Domon. These two photographic books share the common characteristic of recording an era. However, there are major differences in the printing
quality and book design between the two books. Hiroshima is a hardcover B4-size book of overall good quality (retail price: 2300 yen), whereas Children of Chikuho has the same level of quality and design as the B5-size weekly magazines printed at the time the photographic book
was published (retail price: 100 yen). This study discusses the influence that the quality and design of photographic books have on the impression that their contents make on viewers and the generation dependence of such photographic books. The authors prepared a version of Children of
Chikuho at the same quality and design level as Hiroshima and a version of Hiroshima at the same level as Children of Chikuho. The impressions conveyed by these two photographic book versions in addition to the original photographic books were examined using the semantic
differential (SD) method. The results verify that the quality and binding of the photographic books play a vital role in effectively conveying the main themes of Hiroshima (“impact/shock”) and Children of Chikuho (“poverty”). Moreover, the results show
that younger generations are strongly influenced by quality, whereas older generations are not; rather, the older generations have a strong tendency to try to grasp the essence of the photography collection.