Size: 8 1/4 x 10 1/8 in. (212 x 256 mm.)
Item#: AP-084 Artist: from a Tokyo photo circle
Image or title: bamboo gate
Date: 1920s Medium: gelatin silver print with applied pigments to highlights and shadwows for enhancement.
Description: highlights accentuated with hand painted pigment, condition very good.

From a collection of prints by a Tokyo photo circle:

In the mid 1990s Sakura-do acquired an archive of photographs by a group of Japanese pictorialist. Unfortunately, only a few contained verso inscriptions or signatures making attribution difficult. The first obvious clue to this lot was that it included works by several photographers. With this pretense, research was done on Japanese photography clubs which numbered in the thousands during the 1920s. The first scenario uncovered was this archive may have come from a Tokyo based photographic art group. One the prints contained a hanko stamp by Kisei Takano, a Tokyo based art photographer active in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Takano was a member of the Hakunaka Shako Kai which consisted of nine members, including co-director Kiichiro Miyashita. This group is thought to have been in existence from 1926 to 1930 due to listings in various photographic annuals and journals of the day.

Another possibility is these photographs are by members of the Tokyo Shashin Kenkyu Kai (Tokyo Photographic Study Group), a prominent photographic art study group. This group was listed in the 1932-1933 Japan Photographic Annual which included the names of all 112 members. Included was Takano, the same photographer mentioned above. Two other names on this list also matched names on the reverse the prints within the archive.

A third possibility is these prints were taken by photographers associated with the famous Japanese painter Kinosuke Ebihara. Accompanying the archive was a small photograph of an Ebihara painting signed by the painter and dated 1936. Ebihara studied in Paris from 1923 until 1934 when he returned to Tokyo. This possible connection can further be supported due to numerous images of Paris within the archive.

Price: ¥130,000 JPY