KUSAKABE Kimbei

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KUSAKABE Kimbei 日下部 金幣 (1841-1934) Kofu, Yamanashi Pref. Noted, early photographer.

Born to a family of textile merchants. In 1859 at age 18, moved to Yokohama. Studied photography under Felice Beato in 1863.

When Beato sold his studio in 1877, Kimbei operated a studio on Benten-dori in Yokohama until 1881. Later moved to Honcho in Yokohama and opened his "Kimbei Photo Studio." Also opened a branch studio in Yokohama and Tokyo and a retail shop in Ginza, Tokyo.

His main studio was once burned by fire and rebuilt. Produced collotype prints, landscape photo albums, and lantern slides for the export market. Very successful and accomplished photographer and popular with foreigners. Advertised himself as simply "Kimbei" which was easier to pronounce than "Kusakabe."

Also imported and sold photography equipment and supplies. Retired from photography in 1914 and took up Japanese painting in his later years. (2000.12.15)

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