Asahi Camera

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Asahi Camera (アサヒカメラ Asahi kamera?) is a Japanese monthly photographic magazine.[1]

History and profile[edit]

The first issue was that for April 1926.[2][3] It has from the outset been published by Asahi Shinbun-sha, publisher of the newspaper Asahi Shinbun. The headquarters is in Tokyo.[3]

From the January 1941 issue, it merged with the magazines Geijutsu Shashin Kenkyū (芸術写真研究, "Technique Photograph Studies") and Shōzō Shashin Kenkyū (肖像写真研究, "Portrait Photograph Studies"). Publication was suspended with the April 1942 issue.

Publication resumed after the Second World War with the October 1949 issue. Its cover employed a monochrome portrait of a girl by Ihei Kimura, who would become a major contributor.

For much of the period 1962–85, the job of photographing the cover was given to a single photographer for four or more consecutive months.[4]
year months photographer
1962 Jan–Dec Kichisaburō Anzai
1963 Jan–Dec Masaaki Imamura
1964 Jan–Apr Noriaki Yokosuka
May–Aug Naoya Sugiki
Sep–Dec Hiroki Hayashi
1965 Jan–Apr Hideki Fujii
May–Aug Hiroshi Nagaoka
Sep–Dec Toshio Tateishi
1966 Jan–Apr Masaaki Nishimiya
May–Aug Shigeji Asano
Sep–Dec Kazumi Kurigami
1967–8 not applicable
1969 Jan–Dec Kazumi Kurigami
1970 Jan–Dec Daidō Moriyama
1971 Jan–Dec Umihiko Konishi
1972 Jan–Dec Kishin Shinoyama
1973 Jan–Dec Yutaka Takanashi
1974 Jan–Dec Akira Satō
1975 Jan–Dec Hajime Sawatari
1976 Jan–Dec Shin Yanagisawa
1977 Jan–Dec Shunji Ōkura
1978 not applicable
1979 Jan–Dec Akira Satō
1980 Jan–Dec Takamasa Inamura
1981 Jan–Dec Kōichi Inakoshi
1982 Jan–Jun Bishin Jūmonji
Jul–Dec Noriaki Yokosuka
1983 Jan–Dec Hajime Sawatari
1984 not applicable
1985 Jan–Dec Hajime Sawatari

Asahi Camera attempts to satisfy interests in all areas of photography, with short portfolios in monochrome and color by established and new photographers (most but not all of them Japanese), contests for readers, articles about technique, and (accounting for much of the magazine's bulk) news and tests of equipment. The April 2006 issue, for example, has over four hundred pages (many of them advertising, but the great majority editorial) with five or more pages devoted to work by each of ten photographers, the announcement of the latest Kimura Ihei Award, articles about equipment (new, old and even future), contests, and much else.

Even if one considers only its uninterrupted years of publication, from 1949, Asahi Camera is the oldest surviving Japanese photography magazine. Like any magazine that attempts to satisfy people with very different interests, it is sometimes criticized for not serving any of them particularly well, but its equipment reviews appear to be as rigorous as any and it continues to attract some of the best photographers for its portfolios. Like many photographic magazines, a lot of its covers somehow happen to show conventionally attractive young women (sometimes nude), and the overall impression it gives is unadventurous, but daring is a rare commodity in the Japanese magazine market and Asahi Camera does display work that cannot be regarded as at all commercial.

Since the demise of Camera Mainichi in 1985, the only rival as a magazine attempting to cater for all photographic interests has been Nippon Camera.

From its 1926 start until around 1932, in addition to the katakana title, the magazine was prominently titled in English, Asahi Camera: The Japanese Journal of Photography. A shortened version, Asahi Camera, continued as an alternative title until late in the twentieth century but is now written "ASAHICAMERA".


  1. ^ While "Asahi" has consistently been written in kanji (viz. 朝日) for the newspaper title, the titles of most of the publisher's other periodicals and imprints, and the publisher's name itself, the Japanese name of Asahi Camera has consistently been in katakana.
  2. ^ During the twentieth century, Japanese monthly magazines routinely came out in the month before the cover date, or even the month before that.
  3. ^ a b The Far East and Australasia 2003. Psychology Press. 2002. p. 626. ISBN 978-1-85743-133-9. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  4. ^ "Hyōshi ni miru Asahi Kamera no rekishi" (表紙にみるアサヒカメラの歴史, "The history of Asahi Camera as seen in its covers"), Asahi Camera, April 2006, pp. 233–44.

External links[edit]