In 1968, a group of photographers and writers came together to produce Provoke (Purovōku) magazine with the subtitle Provocative Documents for the Pursuit of Ideas. The project only produced three issues, and one book First Abandon the World of Pseudo-Certainty, but it was a mile-stone in post-war Japanese photography. The driving force behind the magazine was Takuma Nakahira, a young magazine editor and poet turned photographer who had been mentored by Shōmei Tōmatsu (the older photographer even gave him a camera as a wedding present). Nakahira had a strong opposition to objective photojournalism: "The record is never objective, but what I witnessed."
Yutaka Takanashi, a more established photographer, the art critic Kōji Taki and the poet Takahiko Okada were the three other founding members of the magazine. Provoke had an agenda: To refute stereo-typical narrative and examine the relationship between photography and language. In the first issue (November, 1968), the group delivered their manifesto: "Visual images are the reverse side of the world of language... A photographer's eye can capture fragments of reality that cannot be expressed in language as it is." Many of the images in Provoke are are, bure, boke (rough, blurry, and out of focus). The rough graininess of the images came from printing techniques, while the blurry, out-of-focus qualities were caused by the photographer refusing to focus and shaking or tilting the camera. As Okada wrote in the magazine, "I cannot clearly see what I want to see, and thus I feel heartbroken."
- Purovōku: shisō no tame no chōhatsuteki shiryō (Provoke No. 1) . Tokyo, Purovōku-sha, 1968, [p.40-41].
- Purovōku: shisō no tame no chōhatsuteki shiryō (Provoke No. 2) . Tokyo, Purovōku-sha, 1969, [p.54-55].
- Purovōku: shisō no tame no chōhatsuteki shiryō (Provoke No. 3) . Tokyo, Purovōku-sha, 1969, [p.22-23].
- Mazu tashikarashisa no sekai o sutero: shashin to gengo no shisō. Tokyo, Tabata Shoten, 1970, [p.14-15].