Fu**in’ sale posters

In early Jan. 2012, a store in Osaka plastered their shop with large, red posters advertising a sale with the words “Fu**in’ sale.” They were trying to advertise their sale of fukubukuro (lucky bags). A photo of it went viral on Facebook and the Internet.

The shop has taken down the signs and apologized:


CP+ 2012 camera show in Yokohama

Canon booth at the last CP+ show in Feb. 2011.

The 3rd CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging Show, Japan’s largest camera show, will be held during Feb. 9-12, 2012 in Yokohama, at Pacifico Yokohama, a large convention complex and the same venue as last year’s CP+. Hopefully, it won’t snow on those days.

Note that the morning of Feb. 9, the show is open to the press only.

Admission is 1,000 yen at the door, but this fee can be waived if you preregister via the CP+ Website.

You can also register to attend free seminars and lectures where they sometimes provide simultaneous Japanese or English translation. The year 2012 is also the 150th anniversary of commercial photography in Japan. Lectures about vintage photography are planned. A special talk by Ellliot Erwitt is also scheduled on Feb. 9.


For details, see the show’s official site in English:

See my photos of CP+ 2011 here.

Pacifico Yokohama is near JR Sakuragicho and Minato Mirai Stations:

CP+ is held by CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association). CIPA is an international organization comprised of companies involved in the production and sale of silver-halide camera and digital camera, imaging-related products, software and more. In addition to product specifications, standards and technical research, CIPA deals with environmental issues and other industry-wide issues and seeks to contribute to the development of photographic and imaging culture.
Web site: http://www.cipa.jp/english/

Kyoto International Photo Showcase 2011


Updated: Our group photo exhibition in Kyoto went very well. It was great meeting people and explaining about our pictures and work. Thank you to all who came to see us.

Photos of the exhibition here:

Exhibition details:
PhotoGuide Japan organized a group photo exhibition in Kyoto held on Nov. 16-20, 2011 at the Kyoto International Community House in Kyoto, near Keage Station (5 min. by Tozai Line subway from Yamashina Station). The exhibition room was open from noon to 7 pm (till 5:30 pm on the 20th). We had a gathering on Nov. 19 (Sat.) at 5 pm – 7 pm and on Nov. 20 (Sun.) at 4 pm – 5:30 pm when the public was invited to meet the artists. Free admission.

The theme was “Home Sweet Hometown.” Many of us foreigners in Japan have lived here for so long that Japan has become our second hometown. We love our hometowns in Japan so much that we often photograph it. We shared some images of our beloved hometowns.

Featured Artists
Micah Gampel: “My Furukiyoki” self-portraits with friends in Kyoto. Very amusing collection of prints.
Peter Macintosh: Huge mural of Kyoto geisha photos taken over the past 10 years.
Motoyasu Matsutani: Pretty pictures of Kyoto.
Peter Miller: Copperplate photogravures of furusato scenes in Japan such as Shirakawa-go and Kamakura.
Philbert Ono: Introduction of Shiga’s hometown song, Lake Biwa Rowing Song. (Biwako Shuko no Uta) created by Kyoto University Rowing Club members in 1917.
Bruce Osborn: Maibara (Shiga Prefecture) Oyako (Parent-child) portraits taken in the four seasons.
John Wells: Mixed media (oil painting, sumie painting, etc.) of Kyoto scenes/objects.

KIPS 2011日本語 

The Japan Times inserted a nice announcement for our show in the Nov. 13, 2011 issue:

The Japan Times, Nov. 13, 2011, page 2 (National News)

Kyoto International Photo Showcase 2011

English here

「写真での国際交流」のためにPhotoGuide Japanが一般公開の国際写真展を開催しました。近畿・関東地方の7名の写真家(外国人6名、日本人一名)が「古き良き故郷」というテーマで京都市の京都国際交流会館(Kyoto International Community House)の展示室で2011年11月16日〜11月20日に開催しました。来場者へ感謝しております。


イベント名称: Kyoto International Photo Showcase 2011 (KIPS 2011)

種別: 写真展、ギャラリートーク(すべて一般公開、入場無料)
開催期間: 写真展:2011年11月16日(水)~20日(日)

出展者: マイカ・ガンペルピーター・マッキントッシュピーター・ミラーオノ・フィルバートブルース・オズボーン松谷大慶ジョン・ウェルズ

6人の外国人写真家と1人の日本人写真家によるグループ写真展です。写真家は近畿・関東在 住の方々です。写真展のテーマは「古き良き故郷」。外国人の私たちは元々外国の故郷がありますが、日本に 長く住んでいるため、もうすっかり日本が第二の故郷になってしまいました。写真家として、この第二の故郷 を愛して様々に撮ってきました。家族、友人、場所、物、自然、風景、歌など故郷の要素は多数あります。 日本での故郷への愛情を写真で表現しております。



会場: 京都市国際交流会館内の姉妹都市展示室
住所: 京都市左京区粟田口鳥居町2番地の1
Tel:  (075) 752-3010

主催: PhotoGuide Japan
後援: 財団法人 京都市国際交流協会

問い合わせ先: philbert@photojpn.org

KIPS 2011

The Japan Times, Nov. 13, 2011, page 2 (National News)

J-A Nisei Portraits at Nikon Salon

BRIAN Y. SATO Nisei ExhibitionMy friend Brian Y. Sato, a sansei Japanese-American from Hawai’i, is having his first exhibition in Japan of his Japanese-American Nisei portraits.

Photographing the dying generation of Nisei has been Brian’s pet project since 2002 when I first met him and was very impressed by his project that included portraits of Nisei I personally knew. His portraits are very compelling and sometimes stark representations of this historical and storied generation.

The Nisei are the second-generation Japanese-Americans born to the Issei or first-generation Japanese who immigrated to Hawai’i. This generation are now elderly from their 70s on up. It’s like catch them while you still can. They all have their unique stories. Some have been told and recorded, while many others have died with them. Brian has encountered many nisei who refused to open up and be photographed. But he insisted that he did not want their stories to die with them.

Upon skillful persuasion, Brian has amassed around 200 nisei portraits from all the major Hawaiian islands (including Molokai and Lanai). He has already exhibited them in Hawai’i and the US mainland, but never in Japan until now. I kept urging him to show these portraits in Japan and he is finally doing it.

Portraits from his Nisei of Hawai’i collection will be exhibited at the Nikon Salon in Tokyo and Osaka as follows. He tells me that he’ll be at the gallery most of the time, but you could call and ask to make sure.

Title: GOKURŌSAMA: Second-Generation Japanese-Americans in Hawaii
Place: Shinjuku Nikon Salon (Map)
Shinjuku Station Exit A17, Shinjuku L Tower 28th floor
Phone: 03-3344-0565
Date/Hours: Oct 18 – Oct 31, 2011
10:30 to 18:30 (Oct. 31: 10:30 to 15:00)
Open every day.


Place: Osaka Nikon Salon (Map)
Osaka Station Exit A4, Hilton Plaza West Office Tower 13th floor
Phone: 06-6348-9698
Date/Hours: Nov. 3-16, 2011
10:30 to 18:30 (Oct. 31: 10:30 to 15:00)
Open every day.

Relevant links:



Book: Photography and Japan by Karen M. Fraser

Photography and Japan

A new book about photography in Japan has been published in English. The author is Karen M. Fraser, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Santa Clara University in California, USA.

Being written by an academic, you might think this book might be too scholarly or cerebral, but I’m delighted to report that it is obviously written for the layman. It is very easy reading and touches base with most people and things as it traces the history of photography in Japan intertwined with the country’s social history from the 1850s to the present day.

The author mentions the most important Japanese photographers, whether they are from the Meiji Period or the present day. The book is also heavily illustrated in color, making it very interesting to thumb through.

Thus, it is a great introduction to Japanese photography for everyone. The book has an Introduction, and then only three chapters. Chapter One centers on people and portraits, Chapter 2 focuses on wartime photography, and Chapter 3 is about cityscapes and street photos. It’s not a massive, intimidating book. You can probably read it in a few hours.

In the Introduction, the author asks the basic question, “What is Japanese photography?” This is a question I’ve wrestled with myself before, but couldn’t really define it clearcut. But for the purposes of my PhotoGuide Japan web site, I pretty much define it as photography created by a Japanese national and/or images of Japan and the Japanese. Of course, there are inherent flaws with this definition, but I have been using it as a basic guideline while noting and accepting exceptions to the rule.

Instead of trying to define what Japanese photography is, the author has pursued to link photography in Japan with Japan’s social history. She shows how Japanese photography is distinctive through its reflection of Japan’s social history. This makes it a very interesting read as you learn about both Japanese photography history and Japanese social history.

Over a year ago, I had the pleasure of helping the author contact a few photographers and estates to secure photograph reproduction rights for this book. I thank her for mentioning me in the Acknowledgements and congratulate her on a job well done.

Book available at Amazon.com. ISBN: 978-1861897978

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