The Story of Seibei Kajima, the “Millionaire Photographer” in the Meiji Period

Fujifilm Square

poster for The Story of Seibei Kajima, the “Millionaire Photographer” in the Meiji Period
[Image: “Ponta” c. 1895, Photograph by Seibei Kajima, hand colored albumen print, Private collection]

This event has ended.

The Photo History Museum at Fujifilm Square will mount an exhibition of works by the photographer Seibei Kajima, who was active in the Meiji period (1868—1912). The exhibition is the first in Japan to introduce the career and achievements of Kajima, the “Millionaire Photographer,” who contributed much to the world of photography in Japan.

In the 1880s and 1890s, he became known as the “Millionaire Photographer” because he tried his hand at unprecedented forms of photo production, using custom-made large-format cameras to take oversized photographs or X-ray photographs, and magnesium flash to take photographs at night. Kajima’s contributions to the development of photography in Japan were significant, but it was his exceptional largesse that was the talk of the town at the time.

Focusing on Kajima’s appeal, the exhibition brings together a range of his work including Mt. Fuji (reproduction), a masterpiece that was presented to the Imperial Household, a stage photograph (reproduction) of Ichikawa Danjuro IX in Shibaraku, one of the Kabuki Juhachiban (Eighteen Famous Kabuki Plays), the glamorous figures of Ponta, the talented geisha, and Oen, the mistress of Kajima’s younger brother Seizaburo, and applied arts photography printed on silk screen.



from June 01, 2019 to August 31, 2019


Seibei Kashima



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