PhotoWho'sWho FAQ


日本語は下にあります。(Japanese FAQ at bottom.)

· What is PhotoWho'sWho?

It is an online collection of biographies of prominent Japanese photographers and people who have made significant contributions to Japanese photography. Note that the biographies were mainly written during 1996-2002, and they are no longer being updated except for date of death. The biographies were researched and compiled by Philbert Ono for the PhotoGuide Japan Web site.

The biographies have been transferred from to the new PhotoWho'sWho page at PHOTOGUIDE.JP.

· How about including the photographer's contact information in PhotoWho'sWho?

We don't want to cause any problems for Japanese photographers with unsolicited English inquiries or direct mail. It would also require too much time and effort to maintain.

· I need to contact this Japanese photographer. Can you give me his/her phone or fax number, or postal address?

Contact information (mailing address, fax No., etc.) is available for many of the Japanese photographers listed in PhotoWho'sWho. First state your reasons for needing to contact the photographer and identify yourself, your position, and organization. If you have a good reason and the contact information is available, you will get it.

· Do you have so-and-so photographer's e-mail address?

Unfortunately, not many Japanese photographers have an e-mail address. And there is no directory of e-mail addresses for Japanese photographers, not even in Japanese. It would be best to send a fax or letter instead if you know the address and number.

· I sent a fax/letter to this Japanese photographer but got no response. What should I do?

If you wrote to him/her in English, he/she probably does not want to go through the trouble and expense of translating your message into Japanese and then responding in English. (Unless you are a personal friend, a very famous person, or representative of a famous organization.)

Therefore, for better chances of receiving a response, communicate in Japanese. Translate your inquiry into Japanese before sending it to him/her. (Do not use translation software to translate your note. The translation quality will be poor, inaccurate, or laughable. Use a native-Japanese human translator or a translation agency instead.)

· Who are the most famous and important Japanese photographers?

As of the late 1990s, the most famous Japanese photographers are Nobuyoshi ARAKI, Daido MORIYAMA, Kishin SHINOYAMA, and HIROMIX.

Outside Japan, the most famous Japanese photographers include Nobuyoshi ARAKI, Hiroshi SUGIMOTO, Eikoh HOSOE, Mariko MORI, HIROMIX, and Daido MORIYAMA. (HIROMIX eventually receded from the public eye.)

You can consider a Japanese photographer to be important in any of the following ways:

  • He/she is a historical figure, especially in the late 19th century and early 20th century when photography was first introduced to Japan. (For example, Hikoma UENO and Renjo SHIMOOKA who were the first professional Japanese photographers to open studios.)
  • His/her work has significantly influenced or affected the general population or many other photographers. (For example, W. Eugene Smith who presented his Minamata mercury poisoning photos in Life magazine.)
  • His/her work is considered to have a high level of artistic quality.
  • His/her work is considered to have a high documentary value. (For example, Felice Beato who photographed many people, landscapes, and buildings of Meiji Japan.)

The most important figures in the late 19th century and early 20th include: Baron Raimund von Stillfried-Ratenicz, Felice Beato, Adolfo Farsari, UENO Hikoma, SHIMOOKA Renjo, KUSAKABE Kimbei, TAMAMURA Kozaburo, UCHIDA Kuichi, and OGAWA Kazumasa (Isshin).

The most important figures in the pre-WWII and immediate post-war period include:KIMURA Ihei, DOMON Ken, HAYASHI Tadahiko, HAMAYA Hiroshi, WATANABE Yoshio, AKIYAMA Shotaro, HANAYA Kanbe'e, KUWABARA Kineo, NATORI Yonosuke, MIKI Jun, MIYATAKE Toyo, MOROOKA Koji, SHIOTANI Teiko, UEDA Shoji, and YAMAHATA Yosuke.

The most important figures during the high-growth period in the 1960s and '70s include: HOSOE Eikoh, ISHIMOTO Yasuhiro, TOMATSU Shomei, MORIYAMA Daido, NAGANO Shigeichi, HANABUSA Shinzo, KUWABARA Shisei, W. Eugene Smith, TANNO Akira, TOMIYAMA Haruo, NARAHARA Ikko, and SAWADA Kyoichi.

Today, the "new guard" of Japanese photography includes HOMMA Takashi, SANAI Masafumi, HIROMIX, NAGASHIMA Yurie, and Chikashi KASAI all of whom are in their 20s or 30s. Even among this younger generation, ARAKI Nobuyoshi remains a major influence and the most famous Japanese photographer.

The following is a list (random order) of the most prominent Japanese photographers in their respective field:

Photojournalism and documentary: Ihee KIMURA, Ken DOMON, Tadahiko HAYASHI, Hiroshi HAMAYA, Yoshio WATANABE, Kyoichi SAWADA, Koji MOROOKA,

Fine art photographers: Yasuzo NOJIMA, Eikoh HOSOE, Shomei TOMATSU, Yasuhiro ISHIMOTO, Daido MORIYAMA, Teiko SHIOTANI, Shoji UEDA, Shinzo & Roso FUKUHARA, Iwata NAKAYAMA

Social issues: Shigeichi NAGANO, Shinzo HANABUSA, Toyo MIYATAKE, Shisei KUWABARA, Haruo TOMIYAMA, Shomei TOMATSU, Akira TANNO,

Glamour, celebrities, nudes: Shotaro AKIYAMA, Hideki FUJII, Kishin SHINOYAMA, Nobuyoshi ARAKI, Masaaki MIYAZAWA, Hogara IKETANI, Shoji OTAKE, Hajime SAWATARI, Yoshihiro TATSUKI, Shin YAMAGISHI, Akira GOMI, and Tenmei KANOH.

Female photographers: Hiromix, Yurie Nagashima, Michiko KON, Rinko KAWAUCHI, and Miyako ISHIUCHI, Ruiko YOSHIDA.

Festivals: HAGA Hideo

Landscape: Shinzo MAEDA, Yoichi MIDORIKAWA, Toshinobu TAKEUCHI, Shiro SHIRAHATA, Taikichi IRIE

Pulitzer Prize winners: Yasushi NAGAO, Toshio SAKAI, Kyoichi SAWADA

Photo critics: Kohtaro IIZAWA

· How do you select photographers to be included in PhotoWho'sWho?

Any person who meets any of the following conditions is eligible for inclusion:

  • The person (living or dead) has made significant or historical contributions to Japanese photography.
  • The photographer is Japanese or living in Japan and has received critical acclaim or attention in Japan or overseas.
  • The photographer is Japanese or living in Japan and has published or exhibited a number of significant works.

· Why don't you include so-and-so photographer in PhotoWho'sWho?

PhotoWho'sWho does not list every single Japanese photographer that deserves to be listed. We're still working on it. You are welcome to submit any suggestions for photographers who should be included. It would be great if you also provide that person's biography at the same time if you have that information. We especially favor photographers whose work centers on Japan-related themes or subjects. Note that we do not include commercial photographers.

· How many biographies are there in PhotoWho'sWho?

Almost 200. We had more, but we deleted those who are falling into obscurity or generating little interest outside Japan or those on which we have very little information.

· How about displaying sample photos by the photographers in the biographies?

That would be nice, but there would be copyright infringement whenever you publish someone else's photograph. The best we can do is show photo book cover images or face shots when available.

· Is there a Japanese directory of Japanese photographers?

There is the Japan Photo Almanac published annually by the Photographic Society of Japan. It is available only to members, but you can see it at photography-related libraries such as at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and JCII Library. See PhotoLibraries.

Also, the Japan Professional Photographers Association (JPS) issues a members directory every year. However, you have to be a member to receive a copy. Easily available is the Shashin Nenkan (写真年鑑) published annually by Nippon Camera. It has a list of Japanese photographer addresses and contact info as well as a list of photo galleries/museums in Japan.

· How about creating a Japanese version of PhotoWho'sWho?

We tried to include Japanese biographies together with the English. But the spread of the Internet has brought forth more info in Japanese so we are not inclined to provide Japanese info which has become more readily available (through Wikipedia, etc.).

PhotoWho'sWho Japanese FAQ












PhotoGuide Japanの作成者でもあるオノ フィルバートです。個人で作っています。


  • 一応、PhotoGuide Japanは日本の写真界を英語で紹介しているホームページで、こういうものもあるべきです。
  • 海外の人が日本人写真家にもっと興味を持てるためです。
  • 海外にいる学生、学者、教授、研究者などの日本人写真家の研究と勉強の参考と支援のためです。(たまにこういう問い合わせが来ます。)
  • 海外の写真雑誌の編集者、フォトギャラリー管理者・美術館の学芸員がどの日本人写真家を取り上げたらいいかのための参考です。(たまにこういう問い合わせが来ます。)
  • 日本人写真家の作品をどこかで見て(写真展、雑誌など)、その作家のことをもっと知りたい人のためです。
  • 私自身の勉強と趣味のためです。
  • 1996年〜2002年当時にこういう日本人写真家英文プロフィール集が他にだれも作っていないので「よしゃ、オレが作ろう!」と数年前に決心したためです。