Tokyo: circa 1895. Handcolored albumen photograph. 20.3 x 26 cm.
Ogawa Kazumasa (aka Kazuma or Isshin) (1860-1929) is considered a pioneer in the development of photography and photomechanical printing in Japan. In 1882~4 Ogawa studied portrait photography and the dry plate process in Boston. He also studied collotype printing with the Albert Type Company. On his return to Japan in 1884 he opened a photographic studio in Tokyo. In 1888 he established Tsukiji Kampan Seizo Kaisha (Tsukiji Dry Plate Manufacturing Company) which manufactured dry plates for use by photographers. This business failed after several years in operation. In 1889 he started Japan's first photoengraving business, the Ogawa Shashin Seihan-jo (Ogawa Photograph (Plate) Making Shop). This is sometimes referred to as the K. Ogawa printing factory, No. 11, Yanagimara, Tokyo. This business started with manufacturing half-tone plates and by 1894 added collotype printing. Ogawa published/distributed under the name Ogawa Shashin Seihan-jo and Ogawa Shuppanbu. In the early 1890s, Ogawa incorporated the copper type printing process with the collotype process thereby making it possible to print descriptive titles on the same plate with the collotype image. Item #51-3072