|Died||1900 (aged 76–77)|
Shima Kakoku (m. 1855)
Shima Ryū (島 隆, 1823–1900 ) was a Japanese artist and pioneering photographer. Originally from Kiryū, in what is now Gunma Prefecture, she studied at an art school in Edo (now Tokyo) where she met Shima Kakoku (1827–1870), a fellow student. The two married in 1855 and soon began moving about the Kantō region, possibly exhibiting their works along the way.
At some point the couple learned photography, and in the spring of 1864 Ryū photographed her husband, thereby creating the earliest known photograph by a Japanese woman. The negative is on deposit at the Tojo Historical Museum, a wet-plate print of this portrait remains in the Shima family archives and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston has an albumen print.
The Shimas operated a photographic studio in Edo in about 1865 to 1867, until Kakoku accepted a teaching position at Kaiseijo. Following her husband's death in 1870, Ryū returned to Kiryū where she opened her own studio. She died in 1900.
- Terry Bennett (2006). Photography in Japan: 1853–1912. Charles E Tuttle. ISBN 0-8048-3633-7.
- Bennett, 129; Nihon no shashinka. "Ryū" according to Nihon no shashinka. (Bennett's spelling of "Ryu" should be discounted: in what is otherwise a scrupulously written book, Bennett or his publisher consistently omits macrons.) Her maiden name is unknown.
- Nihon no shashinka (日本の写真家) / Biographic Dictionary of Japanese Photography. Tokyo: Nichigai Associates. 2005. p. 209. ISBN 4-8169-1948-1.
- Anne Tucker, Kōtarō Iizawa (2003). History of Japanese Photography. Yale University Press.
- Nihon no shashinka specifies Shitaya.
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