Tomio Kondō

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Tomio Kondō(近藤 福雄,Kondō Tomio, January 24, 1900 – November 15, 1957) was an amateur photographer who lived on and energetically photographed Sado island in the Sea of Japan. [1]

Photographer person who takes photographs

A photographer is a person who makes photographs.

Sado, Niigata City in Honshu, Japan

Sado is a city located on Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. Since 2004, the city has comprised the entire island, although not all of its total area is urbanized. Sado is the sixth largest island of Japan in area following the four main islands and Okinawa Island.


Kondō was born to a landowning family in Kanazawa village (subsequently part of Kanai, which in turn was amalgamated within "Sado City"). He started with a camera at 18, and also had a keen interest in archaeology. Kondō photographed landscapes and a great variety of life on the island, as well as the figures from literary and artistic circles on the mainland who came to visit during the infancy of Sado's tourism industry. He financed this by gradually selling off land owned by the family.

Municipalities of Japan municipalities in Japan in four types

Japan has three levels of government: national, prefectural, and municipal. The nation is divided into 47 prefectures. Each prefecture consists of numerous municipalities, with 1,719 in total. There are four types of municipalities in Japan: cities, towns, villages and special wards. In Japanese, this system is known as shikuchōson (市区町村), where each kanji in the word represents one of the four types of municipalities. Some designated cities also have further administrative subdivisions, also known as wards. But, unlike the Special wards of Tokyo, these wards are not municipalities.

Kondō was keen to keep up with the latest news on the island. He helped set up the Sado museum (佐渡博物館, Sado Hakubutsukan), of which he became a trustee, and organizations devoted to mountain walking and botany.

Kondō left a collection of about 8,840 plates on his death. These were bought by the bus company Niigata Kōtsū (新潟交通), which presented them to the Sado museum, but they were little known until 1979, when they were seen by Haruo Tomiyama (himself a notable photographer of Sado) and others. Four years later they became an Asahi Camera cover story, and thanks to the effort of Tomiyama and others they have been exhibited in Sado and anthologized in two books. The photographs then had some exposure in the general-interest media; for example, the 17 August 1995 issue of the magazine Serai (サライ, Sarai) had a six-page feature on them.

Photographic plate target medium in photography

Photographic plates preceded photographic film as a capture medium in photography. The light-sensitive emulsion of silver salts was coated on a glass plate, typically thinner than common window glass, instead of a clear plastic film.

Haruo Tomiyama, 1935-15 October 2016 was a versatile Japanese photographer, active since the 1960s.

Asahi Camera is a Japanese monthly photographic magazine.

Sado City has recently started a photography contest in Kondō's honour.

Books of Kondō's works

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. Kondō's given name of Tomio is written with characters (福雄) whose far more obvious reading is "Fukuo". The reading of this name is often given (e.g. in the OPAC of Tokyo Municipal Library) as "Fukuo"; however, Nihon no shashinka, Nihon shashinka jiten, the December 1983 Asahi Camera cover story and the flyer advertising the Kondō Tomio award all have "Tomio".
  2. The other is 小田末吉, the reading of whose name is unknown.
  3. Bibliographically this book is a little problematic: the colophon says 近藤福雄写真集1917~1945佐渡万華鏡 whereas the title page says ガラス乾板写真集 / 佐渡万華鏡 / Sado Island / 1917~1945. But it's clear that 佐渡万華鏡 is meant as the main title.

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