Motoichi Kumagai

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Motoichi Kumagai
Born(1909-07-12)July 12, 1909
Ōchi, Shimoina District, Nagano Prefecture, Japan
Died November 6, 2010(2010-11-06) (aged 101)
Tokyo, Japan
Occupation Photographer, Illustrator
Language Japanese
Nationality Japanese

Motoichi [1] Kumagai(熊谷 元一,Kumagai Motoichi, 12 July 1909 – 6 November 2010) was a Japanese photographer and illustrator of books for children, known for his portrayal of rural and school life.

Japan Constitutional monarchy in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

Photographer person who takes photographs

A photographer is a person who makes photographs.


Born in Ōchi (会地; now Achi), Shimoina District, Nagano Prefecture, Kumagai worked from 1930 to 1933 as a teacher. He had his first work for children published in the May 1932 issue of the magazine Kodomo no Kuni. [2] In 1936 he bought a Pearlette camera (a Konishiroku derivative of the Vest Pocket Kodak), with a simple meniscus lens, and started to use this to photograph village life; his first photograph collection was published two years later by Asahi Shinbunsha. [2] In 1939 he went to Tokyo as a government photographer and was later sent three times to Manchukuo; after the war, he returned to teach in his village. [3]

Achi, Nagano Village in Chūbu, Japan

Achi is a village located in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 October 2016, the village had an estimated population of 6,578, and a population density of 30.7 persons per km². Its total area is 214.43 square kilometres (82.79 sq mi).

Nagano Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Nagano Prefecture is a prefecture located in the Chūbu region of Japan. The capital is the city of Nagano.

Konica was a Japanese manufacturer of, among other products, film, film cameras, camera accessories, photographic and photo-processing equipment, photocopiers, fax machines and laser printers. The company merged with Japanese peer Minolta in 2003, with the new company named Konica Minolta.

A book of photographs of school life published by Iwanami Shoten in 1955 won a photography prize from Mainichi Shimbun. [2]

<i>Mainichi Shimbun</i> newspaper

The Mainichi Shimbun is one of the major newspapers in Japan, published by The Mainichi Newspapers Co., Ltd.

Kumagai published books of works for children as well as books of photographs. His photographs are held in the permanent collection of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, [3] and a volume of the series Nihon no Shashinka is dedicated to his work. He received various honours for his work, especially since around 1990. [2] The village of Achi created a gallery, Kumagai Motoichi Shashin Dōgakan, for the permanent exhibition of his work. [4]

He died in 2010, in a nursing home in Tokyo, of natural causes. [5]

Books by Kumagai

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.


  1. Motoichi is the reading of 元一 supplied by Kumagai Motoichi Shashin Dōgakan (although this uses Kunrei/Nihon rather than Hepburn romanization and thus spells it Motoiti) and Nihon no shashinka (日本の写真家) / Biographic Dictionary of Japanese Photography(in Japanese) (Tokyo: Nichigai Associates, 2005; ISBN   4-8169-1948-1). According to Keiko Suzuki (鈴木佳子, Suzuki Keiko), "Kumagai Motokazu" (in Japanese), 328 Outstanding Japanese Photographers (日本写真家事典, Nihon shashinka jiten; Kyoto: Tankōsha, 2000; ISBN   4-473-01750-8), p.114, the reading is Motokazu Kumagai (Motokazu Kumagai).
  2. 1 2 3 4 Kumagai chronology Archived 2009-05-06 at the Wayback Machine ., Achi village website.
  3. 1 2 Suzuki, "Kumagai Motokazu", p.114.
  4. Map, address, telephone number Archived 2009-05-05 at the Wayback Machine ., etc.
  5. "熊谷元一さんが死去 (Kumagai Motoichi's death)". Minamishinshu. 9 November 2010.

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Motoichi is a masculine Japanese given name. Notable people with the name include:

Kumagai, also transliterated as Kumagae, is a Japanese surname. Notable people with the surname include: