Professional Photography Organizations in Japan

Professional photographer associations in Japan. Compiled by Philbert Ono, last updated: Feb. 14, 2011

All-Japan Association of Photographic Societies
(Zen-Nihon Shashin Renmei) 全日本写真連盟
Address: 東京都中央区築地5-3-2 朝日新聞東京本社 全日写連事務局
Asahi Shimbun Honsha, Tsukiji 5-3-2
Chuo-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 104-8011
Phone: (03) 5540-7413
Fax: (03) 5565-6910
Remarks: Huge national organization of photo clubs for amateur photographers. Local chapters exist all over Japan. Photo shoots, photo classes, photo contests, and exhibitions are held. Membership costs 5,000 yen per year plus 500 yen entry fee. Established in 1926 and sponsored by Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

The Imaging Society of Japan (Nihon Gazo Gakkai) 日本画像学会
Address: 東京都中野区本町2-9-5 東京工芸大学内
Tokyo Kogei Daigaku, Honcho 2-9-5
Nakano-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
Phone: (03) 3373-9576
Fax: (03) 3372-4414
Remarks: Established in 1958 as the Denshi Shashin Gakkai (電子写真学会) and renamed in 1998. Organization of researchers and engineers working in the imaging technology. There are over 1,000 members.

Japan Advertising Photographers’ Association (APA)
(Nihon Kokoku Shashin-ka Kyokai) 日本広告写真
Address: 東京都中央区築地2-11-3 ヒロシゲビル4階
Hiroshige Bldg. 4F, Tsukiji 2-11-3
Chuo-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 104-0045
Phone: (03) 3543-3387
Fax: (03) 3543-3317
Remarks: Very prominent association of Japan’s best photographers (over 1,000 members) working in advertising and commercial work. It conducts surveys and research and holds exhibitions and seminars concerning advertising photography and film. It strives to help its members to improve their skills as advertising photographers. The president is FUJII Hideki. Membership is limited to Japanese nationals only.

Japan Alpine Photographers Association
(Nihon Sangaku Shashin Kyokai) 日本山岳写真協会
Address: 東京都千代田区二番町1 番町ハイム315号
Bancho Heim #315, Nibancho 1
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0084
Phone: (03) 3261-3292
Remarks: Association of alpine photographers. There is also a Kansai chapter.

Japan Nature Scenery Photograph Association (JNP)
Address: 京都市下京区大宮通り松原下ル西門前町426番地-204号
Nishi Monzencho 426-204
Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, JAPAN 600-8371
Phone: (075) 813-4381
Fax: (075) 813-4380
Remarks: Association of nature and landscape photographers formed in 2002. Over 1300 members and 30 chapters in Japan. Members are both professional and amateur.

Japan Photo Culture Association
(Nihon Shashin Bunka Kyokai) 日本写真文化協会
Address: 東京都新宿区四谷1丁目7番地
Yotsuya 1-7
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 160-0004
Phone: 03-3351-2463
Fax: 03-3353-3315
Remarks: Association of portrait studio operators whose numbers are dwindling in Japan. In 1990, there were about 8,000 members. In 2000, there were 6,500. The membership is decreasing by about 100 members every year. The main reason is that the current owner has problems finding a successor to take over the portrait studio. Also, cheap and fast children’s photo studios have appeared in recent years, affecting the income of conventional photo studios.

Japan Photographers Association (JPA)
(Nihon Shashin Sakka Kyokai) 日本写真作家協会
Address: 東京都中央区銀座1-27-8
Ginza 1-27-8
Chuo-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 104-0061
Phone: (03) 3535-6251
Remarks: This association started with 219 members in 1989 and has grown to 430 as of 2000. The membership centers on pro photographers, photo critics, editors, researchers, and educators. Its activities include an annual photo exhibition, photo clinics, lectures, and seminars. To join, a letter of recommendation is required from two current members. Membership screening is conducted at the end of each month.

Japan professional Photographers Society (JPS)
(Nihon Shashin-ka Kyokai) 日本写真家協会
Address: 東京都千代田区一番町25番地 303号
JCII Bldg. 301, Ichibancho 25 #303
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0082
Phone: (03) 3265-7451 (English not spoken)
Fax: (03) 3265-7460
Remarks: Founded in 1950, this is one of Japan’s foremost professional photographers associations boasting over 1700 members as of the year 2000. It consists mostly of pro photographers involved in the publishing and print media. Many well-known Japanese photographers are members.
The Society works to promote photography as a profession in its own right, ensure freedom of expression and the press, revise copyright laws pertaining to photography, disseminate information on photography, and hold photo exhibitions.
It also awards the Japan Photographers Society Award to individuals and corporations making outstanding contributions to photographic culture and art. It also has an International Department which exchanges information with counterpart organizations overseas.
Membership is open to professional photographers who have been active professionally for at least 3 years. A letter of recommendation is required from two current JPS members, one of whom must have been a member for at least 5 years. The deadline for membership applications is Jan. 31 every year when the applications are screened for approval or disapproval. The office is located near Hanzomon Station (Hanzomon subway line).

Japan Railway Photographers Society
(Nihon Testudo Shashin Sakka Kyokai) 日本鉄道写真作家協会
Address: 東京都千代田区飯田橋 3-4-3 エレガンス飯田橋504 レイルマンフォトオフィス内
Railman Photo Office, Iidabashi 3-4-3-504
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0072
Phone: (03) 3221-0271
Remarks: Organization of train and railway photographers.

Japan Realist Photographers Association
(Nihon Realism Shashin Shudan) 日本リアリズム写真集団
Address: 東京都新宿区四谷3-12沢登ビル6F
Sawato Bldg. 6F, Yotsuya 3-12
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 160-0004
Phone: (03) 3355-1461
Fax: (03) 3355-1462
Remarks: Large organization of pro and amateur photographers, critics, magazine editors, etc. Chapters in Chiba, Hamamatsu, Mie Pref., Hiroshima, and Kanazawa.

The Japan Society for Arts and History of Photography
(Nihon Shashin Geijutsu Gakkai) 日本写真芸術学会
Address: Nihon University, College of Art, Dept. of Photography
Asahigaoka 2-42-1
Nerima-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 178-8525
Phone: (03) 5995-8858
Fax: 03-5995-4721
Remarks: Founded in 1991 for academics and researchers in the production, theory, and history of photography. It aims to improve photographic culture. Over 800 members.

Japan Stage Photographers Society (Nihon Butai Shashinka Kyokai) 日本舞台写真家協会

Remarks: Small association of pro photographers of stage performances (music, dance, etc.). Formed in 1988.

Japan Travel Photographers Association
(Nihon Ryoko Shashinka Kyokai) 日本旅行写真家協会
Address: 東京都中央区銀座4-12-6
Ginza 4-12-6
Chuo-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 104-0061
Phone: Fax: (03) 3541-2459
Remarks: Small organization of professional photographers who love photography and traveling. Formed in 1991.

Nihon Shashin Chosakuken Kyokai 日本写真著作権協会
Address: 東京都千代田区一番町25 JCIIビル3F
JCII Bldg. 3F, Ichibancho 25
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0082
Phone: (03) 3265-7451
Fax: (03) 3265-7460
Remarks: Association for photographic copyrights. In the same office as the Japan Professional Photographers Society (JPS).

The Photographic Society of Japan (PSJ)
(Nihon Shashin Kyokai) 日本写真協会
Address: 東京都千代田区一番町25番地 4F
JCII Bldg. 4F, Ichibancho 25
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0082
Phone: (03) 5276-3585
Fax: (03) 5276-3586
Remarks: An leading organization established in 1952, consisting of pro photographers, individuals, organizations, and corporations (a virtual who’s who of Japan’s photography world). It seeks to dessiminate photography-related information overseas and introduce Japan to other countries through photography. It also holds photo exhibitions, seminars and lectures, and publishes pamphlets and books like the Japan Photo Almanac which summarizes Japan’s photography activities for the past year. It also awards prestigous photo awards annually and organizes the annual Month of Photography, Tokyo in late May and June together with the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. Membership is open to individuals, groups, and corporations upon the recommendation of two current members. PSJ has about 610 members. Many of the Society’s officers and directors are presidents of major photo-related manufacturers and organizations and well-established photographers. See a book review of the Japan Photo Almanac at

Society of Photographic Science and Technology of Japan
(Nihon Shashin Gakkai) 日本写真学会
Address: 東京都中野区本町2-9-5 東京工芸大学内
Tokyo Kogei Daigaku
Honcho 2-9-5
Nakano-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 164-8678
Phone: (03) 3373-0724
Fax: (03) 3299-5887
Remarks: founded in 1926, the Society has over 1,000 members involved in photographic science and technology. Holds lectures, seminars, and symposiums.
Near Nakano Sakaue subway station (Marunouchi Line).

Society of Scientific Photography (SSP)
(Nihon Shizen Kagaku Shashin Kyokai) 日本自然科学写真協会
Address: 東京都千代田区九段下北3-2-11-201
Kudanshita Kita 3-2-11-201
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0073
Phone: (03) 3381-1437
Remarks: Formed in June 1978 by professional and amateur photographers, researchers, teachers, and photography-related professionals interested in nature and scientific photography. They hold lectures, exhibitions by members, and publish a society magazine.

Photography Industry Organizations in Japan

Organizations of corporate members in Japan’s photography industry. Compiled by Philbert Ono, last updated: Feb. 14, 2011.

Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) (Camera Eizo Kiki Kogyo-kai)
Address: 東京都千代田区一番町25番地 JCIIビル(5階)
JCII Bldg. 5F
Ichibancho 25
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0082
Phone: (03) 5276-3891
Fax: (03) 5276-3893
Remarks: Formerly called the Japan Camera Industry Assocaition (name changed on June 30, 2002). Consists of Japan’s major camera equipment and film manufacturers. One of the key organizations in Japan’s photo industry. Holds Japan’s largest camera show called CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show in Yokohama.

Import Camera Society (ICS) (Yunyu Camera Kyokai) 輸入カメラ協会
Address: 東京都台東区上野6-2-14 喜久屋ビル地下1階
c/o Kikuya Camera, Kikuya Bldg. B1F, Ueno 6-2-14
Taito-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
Phone: (03) 3832-2331
Fax: (03) 3839-0320
Remarks: This is an association of around 19 mostly used and antique camera shops. The association holds the antique camera fair (Sekai no Chuko Camera-ichi) at Matsuzakaya Dept. Store in Ginza from late Feb. to early March and at Isetan Dept. Store in Shinjuku in Sept. Used and antique cameras are sold to the public by a large number of dealers.

Japan Camera Industry Institute (JCII) (Nihon Camera Zaidan)
Address: JCII Bldg., Ichibancho 25
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0082
Phone: (03) 3263-7111
Fax: (03) 3234-4624
Remarks: Formerly called the Japan Camera and Optical Instruments Inspection and Testing Institute (Nihon Shashin-ki Kogaku-kiki Kensa Kyokai). Although its official name in Japanese has been changed to Nihon Camera Zaidan, it continues to use the old acronym of JCII by only slightly modifying the English name. It operates the Japan Camera Museum, JCII Photo Salon, and JCII Library in Tokyo. It holds workshops, lectures, and exhibitions. Mayumi Moriyama (Diet member) heads the organization.

Japan Color-Photo Finishers’ Association (Nihon Color Lab Kyokai Rengokai)
Address: 〒102-0082東京都千代田区一番町25番地JCIIビル6F
JCII Bldg. 6F, Ichibancho 25
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0082
Phone: (03) 3288-0337
Fax: (03) 3288-0338
Remarks: Association of color photofinishers organized into regional associations nationwide.

Japan Federation of Photo Dealers Association (Zen-Nihon Shashin Zairyosho Kumiai Rengokai)
Address: 全日本写真材料商組合連合会
M&C Bldg. 8th floor, Kanda Ogawa-machi 2-3
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 101-0052
Phone: (03) 5282-7170
Fax: (03) 5282-7191
Remarks: Camera and photofinisher retailers’ association.

Address: 〒103-0027東京都中央区日本橋1-17-12 日本橋ビルディング2階
Nihonbashi Bldg. 2F, Nihonbashi 1-17-12
Chuo-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 103-0027
Phone: (03) 5255-6201
Fax: (03) 5255-6202
Remarks: For organizations in the movie and television technology industry.

Japan Photo & Video Accessory Association (JPV) (Nihon Shashin Eizo Yohin Kogyo-kai)
Address: 東京都千代田区一番町25番地 JCIIビル(4階)
JCII Bldg. 4F, Ichibancho 25
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0082
Phone: (03) 5276-3581
Fax: (03) 5276-3584
Remarks: Consists of about 75 manufacturers of photo and video equipment and accessories. Holds the annual Photo Next Show for pro equipment and photo industry people and publishes the Shashin Eizo Yohin Show photo accessory catalog.

Photo Imaging Wholesale Association (Shashin Ryutsu Shosha Rengokai)
Address: 東京都千代田区一番町25 JCIIビル
Ichibancho 25 JCII Bldg.
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0082
Phone: (03) 3261-8341
Remarks: Organization of sales companies, distributors, and wholesalers in Japan’s photo industry.

Joint PhotoImaging Enterprises Association International (JPEA International) (Shashin Eizo Keiei-sha Kyokai) 写真映像経営者協会
Address: JCII Bldg. 6F, Ichibancho 25
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0082
Phone: (03) 5226-7900
Fax: Same as phone
Remarks: Formed in 1973, this is a non-profit organization promoting global communication to contribute in depth to the development of photographic, optical and digital imaging indusry. The membership includes manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors, retailers, financial analysts, and journalists. It publishes weekly newsletters in English (Photo Electro News or PEN) and Japanese, provides governmental and trade statistics, and assists members to exhibit at Photokina (Germany), PMA (U.S.A.), etc.

Japan Photographic Studio Equipment Association (Nihon Eigyo Shashin Kizai Kyokai)
Address: 光陽モネカ内
〒101-0054東京都千代田区神田錦町3-20 アイゼンビル4F
Kanda Nishiki-cho 3-20 4th floor
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
Phone: (03) 3295-3401
Fax: (03) 3293-4332

Photo-sensitized Materials Manufacturers’ Association (Shashin Kanko Zairyo Kogyo-kai)
Address: 写真感光材料工業会
JCII Bldg., Ichibancho 25
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
Phone: (03) 5276-3561
Fax: (03) 5276-3563
Remarks: Association of photo film and paper manufacturers.

PhotoOrganizations FAQ

What is PhotoOrganizations?

It is a list of major pro photographer associations and imaging industry-related organizations in Japan.

Which photographers’ associations are the most prominent in Japan?

The following three organizations are the most prominent in Japan:

The Photographic Society of Japan (PSJ)
Japan professional Photographers Society (JPS)
Japan Advertising Photographers’ Association (APA)

PSJ is a mix of photographers, amateurs, photo critics, business people, etc. They hold the annual Month of Photography event in Tokyo.

JPS is Japan’s largest organization of pro photographers. Members undergo strict screening to join. The annual membership fee is around 30,000 yen. Their newsletter booklet has an English page. They are very active in promoting/extending photographic copyrights.

APA is for advertising photographers, and like JPS, it is a high-powered group with many prominent Japanese photographers.

Unfortunately, there are hardly any non-Japanese members in these organizations.

What are the benefits of membership?

PSJ offers an informative photo almanac to members.

JPS and APA are prestige organizations and require certain professional qualifications for membership. Thus, many members see membership as a defacto certification proving that they are real professional photographers. They proudly put “Member of JPS (or APA)” on their business cards and resumes.

What about photographers’ associations for foreign photographers in Japan?

The closest to this would be the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan. Other than that, there are no professional photographers’ associations for foreigners in Japan. However, PhotoGuide Japan does have a Facebook Group.

What about camera clubs in Japan?

For amateur photographers, there are many camera clubs sponsored by camera makers (Nikon, Canon, etc.) and film makers. Anybody can join by paying annual membership dues.

Members receive a glossy club magazine, invitations to photo shoots, etc.

Most members are middle-aged and older.