Akiyama Shotaro

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AKIYAMA Shotaro 秋山 庄太郎 (1920.6.8-2003.1.16) Kanda, Tokyo.

Celebrity photographer and one of Japan's god-like elders among Japan's venerable pantheon of photographers.

Major themes Japanese actresses, celebrity portraits, flowers (especially roses)

Education Waseda Univ. 1936-43.

Career Took photos for the first time with a camera bought for him during junior high school. Amateur photographer while at Waseda Univ. 1936-43, self-taught. Published a photo book at his own expense in 1943. Served in the Imperial Japanese Army in China 1943. Returned to Japan in May 1945.

Established Akiyama Photo Studio in Ginza, Tokyo 1946-47 with university cohorts INAMURA Takamasa and TSUCHIKATA Ken'ichi. After closing his studio, joined the photo dept. of Kindai Eiga movie magazine, Tokyo 1947-51, upon a recommendation of HAYASHI Tadahiko. Went freelance in 1951 for major Japanese publishers.

Founded the Nika-kai Photo Club with HAYASHI Tadahiko in 1953. Founding member of the Japan Advertising Photographers Association (APA). Later served as Chairman and Honorary Chairman.

Established Akiyama Studio in 1964. Principal of Nihon Shashin Geijutsu Senmon Gakko photography school in Shibuya, Tokyo since 1978. Founded Hana no Kai club for flower photographers. Member of Japan Professional Photographers Society (JPS).

Akiyama is most famous for his portraits and nudes of women, often famous Japanese celebrities. Flowers have been the subject of his most recent photo books. Numerous one-man and group photo exhibitions in Japan. Numerous books, magazine cover photos, including how-to videos. Heads the Hana-no-Kai flower photographer's club with over 1500 members. Currently operates out of his Akiyama Studio in Nishi Azabu, Tokyo.

In 2000, the Machida City Museum of Photography, dedicated to exhibiting Akiyama's works (mainly flower photos), opened in Machida, Tokyo.

Died on Jan. 16, 2003 after collapsing while judging entries for the HAYASHI Tadahiko Photo Award contest.

Awards Kodansha Publisher's Culture Award 1974; Medal with Purple Ribbon, 1986

Exhibitions http://www.phmuse.com/

Sample photos

Portraits of Actresses - 女優の肖像

Reviewed on: Jan. 11, 1998 Last modified: 2005-04-03 Shotaro Akiyama, one of Japan's most famous photographers, has photographed almost every important Japanese actress since the end of WWII.


Published: Dec. 5, 1997 Publisher: Shinchosha ISBN: 4106024292 Price in Japan: ¥3,800 Qualities: Soft cover, B/W photos Size: A5, 349 pp. Language: Japanese

Portraits of Japanese actresses is what Akiyama is most famous for. He has long been a glamour and celebrity photographer. This collection of black and white portraits are important because they capture the actresses when they were young.

Their youth (or younger days) is immortalized in these great portraits. Ruriko Asaoka, Sayuri Yoshinaga, Ayumi Ishida, Shima Iwashita, Reiko Ohara, Mariko Kaga, Fubuki Koshiji, Rumiko Koyanagi, Gypsy Rose, Yoko Nogiwa, Chieko Baisho, Mie Hama (a 007 Bond girl), Setsuko Hara, Keiko Matsuzaka, Yoshiko Mita, Yamamoto Linda, and a bevy of other actresses, many of them before my time. Some 159 actresses are featured in 230 portraits. Many have only one portrait in the book, and others have more than one portrait.

Out of any group of women, there's always that special one. For Shotaro Akiyama, she was Setsuko Hara (b. 1920) who was the same age as him and the most famous actress of her time. Next to her portraits in the book, he writes a short, poignant essay describing how she was the first girl he (at age 16) fell in love with and how he (as a movie magazine photographer) miraculously got her permission to photograph her at her home 10 years later at age 26.

Most of the portraits were taken in the studio and so the lighting was controlled very well to produce dramatic lighting or dimensional effects. Each photo is captioned with the actress's name in Japanese (no English). At the end of the book, there are reflective writings by Akiyama and brief bios of all the actresses featured in the book. Unfortunately, nothing is in English. (Reviewed by Philbert Ono)

Biography in Japanese

1920年 0歳 6月8日、東京・神田に生まれる。

1923年 3歳 一時移り住んだ横浜で、関東大震災に遭う。

1933年 13歳 東京府立第八中学校入学。


1938年 18歳 第一早稲田高等学いん入学。写真部へ入部。

1943年 23歳 早稲田大学商学部卒業。田辺製薬入社。


1945年 25歳 陸軍少尉として長野で終戦をむかえる。

1946年 26歳 東京・銀座に秋山写真工房を開設。

1947年 27歳 写真工を解散し、林忠彦の推薦で近代映画社に入社。房あこがれの女優、原節子を東京・狛江の自宅で撮影。写真グループ「銀龍社」結成、会員となる。

1949年 29歳 �{青年写真家協会が結成され、その委員となる。

1951年 31歳 近代映画社写真部を退社。フリーランス・カメラマンとなる。林忠彦と「二人展」開催(東京銀座・松島ギャラリー)。

1953年 33歳 二科会写真部創立会員となる。

1955年 35歳 東京・麻布今井町にスタジオ開設。

1956年 36歳 写真家集団「ギネ・グルッペ」結成、会員となる。

1958年 38歳 東京・麻布笄町にスタジオを移転。


1959年 39歳 『週刊文春』の表紙連載を担当。

1960年 40歳 二月から六月までパリ外遊。

1961年 41歳 第一回日{広告写真家協会展・東京ADC賞受賞。

1963年 43歳 日本写真家協会副会長に就任(翌年まで)。『週刊サンケイ』の表紙連載を担当。

1964年 44歳 東京・西麻布にスタジオを移転、現在に至る。『週刊現代』の表紙連載を担当。

1966年 46歳 日本写真専門学こう(日本写真芸術専門学校の前身)講師に就任。

1970年 50歳 『週刊ポスト』の表紙を担当。

1971年 51歳 日本広告写真家協会会長に就任。日本写真家協会常務理事に就任。

1972年 52歳 日本写真家協会監事に就任。

1974年 54歳 講談社出版文化賞受賞。

1975年 55歳 日本写真家協会理事に就任。

1978年 58歳 日本写真芸術専門学校校長に就任。

1979年 59歳 日本広告写真家協会名誉会長に就任。

1980年 60歳 「花の会」を結成、会長に就任。日本写真芸術専門学校校長に就任。

1986年 66歳 紫綬褒章受章。

1990年 70歳 日本写真家協会名誉会員となる。

1993年 73歳 勲四等旭日小綬章受章。

1994年 74歳 全日本写真連盟副会長に就任。日本デザイナー学いん 校長就任。

1997年 77歳 日本写真協会副会長に就任。

2000年 79歳 町田市フォトサロン運営協議会会長に就任。町田市フォトサロン開館。


他に詳細プロフィール: http://www.fujifilm.co.jp/photographer/1999_09akiyama/profile.html