OGAWA Kazumasa

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OGAWA Kazumasa (also called Isshin Kazuma) 小川 一眞 (1860-1929) Saitama. Pioneering Japanese photographer. Introduced dry-plate technology to Japan and established companies using the technology.

Born to the Matsudaira samurai clan. Studied English and photography (under YOSHIWARA Hideo) by age 15. Moved to Tokyo to learn English in 1880. In 1881, became an interpreter for the Yokohama Police Dept. Later learned photography from SHIMOOKA Renjo in Yokohama.

In 1882, employed by the US frigate Swatara to go to Boston where he studied portrait photography and dry-plate production. Returned to Japan in 1884 and opened a studio in Iidabashi (Kojimachi), Tokyo.

In 1888, started Japan's first collotype printing business.

In 1889, printed the Shashin Shinpo and Kokka (still existing) magazines by collotype printing. Also in 1889, established the Nihon Shashin-kai (Japan Photographic Association) with Tokyo Imperial Univ. Professor William Burton. It was Japan's first camera club for amateur photographers.

In 1891, commissioned to photograph 100 of Tokyo's most beautiful geisha to commemorate the opening of the 12-story Ryounkaku (凌雲閣)landmark building in Asakusa.

Often photographed the Imperial family. (2000.12.15)