SUGIURA Rokuemon

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SUGIURA Rokuemon (Rokusaburo) VI 杉浦 六右衛門 (1847-1921) Koishikawa, Tokyo. Founder of Konishi Honten which became Konica Corporation.

In 1867, worked at the pharmacy his father bought in 1859 in Kojimachi. It was called Konishi-ya Rokubei-ten. In 1872, he had his portrait taken for the first time. This got him interested in photography. In the next year, the family pharmacy began selling photographic supplies.

In 1876, the father retired, and younger brother Kinjiro took over the pharmacy. Rokuemon then moved to Nihonbashi and established Konishi Honten. His real name was Rokusaburo, and this was when his father (Rokuemon V) bestowed the name Rokuemon IV on Rokusaburo.

At first, he imported photographic supplies from foreign trading companies in Yokohama. Eventually from around 1882, he invested in the construction of factories in Tokyo to manufacture his own photographic supplies.

In 1894, the company begain the monthly magazine Shashin Geppo. In 1903, the company produced Japan's first platinotype paper and Japan's first portable camera called the Cherry Portable which was highly rated by amateurs. The company contributed greatly to Japan's development of photographic supplies.

The corporate name was changed to Konishiroku in 1921, and later to Konica. In 1923, the Konishiroku Shashin Senmon Gakko photo school was established in Tokyo, offering a 3-year curriculum. It was renamed Tokyo Shashin Senmon Gakko in 1926 and currently exists as Tokyo Institute of Polytechnics (Tokyo Kogei Daigaku). On August 5, 2003, Konica merged with Minolta to form Konica Minolta. In March 2006, the merged company closed its photo imaging division. The digital SLR division was sold to Sony.