Kameya Tokujirō

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Kameya Tokujirō (龜谷 徳次郎[1], 1825–1884) was a pioneering, though now little-known, nineteenth-century Japanese photographer. Kameya's original surname was Abe (阿部); he was adopted by a family named Kameya.[2] He learned photography at Deshima, the Dutch enclave in the harbour of Nagasaki where physicians Jan Karel van den Broek and J. L. C. Pompe van Meerdervoort taught photography in addition to medicine and chemistry. In turn, Kameya taught photography to Tomishige Rihei, who became his apprentice in 1862. The same year, Kameya moved to Kyoto to open a photographic studio – the first commercial studio in the city. In 1868, he returned to Nagasaki, where he operated a studio until his death. He died in 1884 in Vladivostok, having opened a branch studio there.

Kameya had a daughter, Kameya Toyo (龜谷とよ,[3] 1852–1885), who assisted him in his Nagasaki studio and was one of Japan's first woman photographers. In 1871, she married Yoshii Teijirō (吉井禎次郎),[4] whom the family adopted and who took the name Kameya Teijirō; he also worked at the Nagasaki studio, later opening and operating a branch studio in Korea until his death in 1885.

Kameya Tokujirō may have opened his Nagasaki studio before his 1862 move to Kyoto, and if so it may predate that of Ueno Hikoma as the earliest in the city.


  1. ^ In modern orthography 亀谷徳次郎.
  2. ^ Abe, adoption: Nihon no shashinka, s.v. "Kameya Tokujirō".
  3. ^ In modern orthography 亀谷とよ.
  4. ^ Marriage: Nihon no shashinka, s.v. "Kameya Toyo".


  • Bennett, Terry. Photography in Japan: 1853–1912. Rutland, Vt: Charles E. Tuttle, 2006, p. 128. ISBN 0-8048-3633-7 (hard)
  • Nihon no shashinka (日本の写真家) / Biographic Dictionary of Japanese Photography. Tokyo: Nichigai Associates, 2005. ISBN 4-8169-1948-1. (in Japanese) Despite the English-language alternative title, all in Japanese. S.vv. "Kameya Tokujirō", "Kameya Toyo"; pp. 132–33.