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Bowie Unseen: An incredible life in pictures

Seriously, the guy was cool

Bowie Unseen: An incredible life in pictures

As the world comes together to remember the incredible life of David Bowie, we take a look at the archives of Japanese master photographer Masayoshi Sukita, who featured these superb snaps in his 2012 book Speed of Life. Take a look below and marvel at just how cool the man was...

Going underground in Kyoto

“The best way to get to know a city,” Bowie once said, “is to take the subway as far as your change gets you.” This is precisely what he did while shooting an advert in Kyoto in 1980.

A talk on the wild side

Former frontman of The Velvet Underground Lou Reed drops by to visit Bowie backstage at London’s Rainbow Theatre in 1972. Bowie had recently produced Reed’s iconic album, Transformer.

Clash of the tight ’uns

Bowie is pictured here aged 26, during his Ziggy Stardust period, having a clothing fitting with the renowned contemporary Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto in April 1973.

Sumo antics onstage in Japan

Bowie celebrates his first Japanese tour in 1973 in typically understated style by, in his own words, “Performing an impromptu strip to give my best shot as a 120lb sumo wrestler.”

Smiling for the cameras

This photograph, taken back in February 1973, sees Bowie at the height of his glam-rock era while conducting a press conference for the Japanese media at New York’s legendary RCA Studios.

Ziggy stardust in the wings

This intimate shot shows the singer trying to calm any last-minute pre-show jitters with a quick cigarette, just moments before taking the stage at the Rainbow Theatre in August 1972.

A quiet moment in Tokyo

His ‘Thin White Duke’ period. Here a soberly dressed Bowie takes a break from doing interviews in 1978 to wrestle with a packet of Gauloises, perhaps unaware that he has a freshly lit one already in his mouth...

Iggy and ziggy meet the press

Having just produced Iggy Pop’s album The Idiot, Bowie meets Japanese paparazzi in April 1977.