Matsushima was born on 5 January 1913 in Ushigome, Tokyo. He studied at Tōkyō Kōtō Kōgei Gakkō (東京高等工芸学校, later incorporated within Chiba University), where a fellow-student was Gen Ōtsuka. On graduating in 1933, he joined Jiji Shinpō-sha, but soon quit and moved to Nikkatsu, where he worked as a photographer, focusing especially on portraits of women, which he also submitted to Photo Times and other photographic magazines.
After the war Matsushima went freelance, working on portraits of women, fashion, and the like. In 1948 he created the group Shashinka Shūdan (写真家集団) with Fujio Matsugi, Sankichi Ozaki and others. He continued to work prolifically after this.
- Dai ikkai Matsushima Susumu Josei Shashin-ten (第1回松島進女性写真展), 1952.
- Matsushima Susumu Josei Shashin Kyōshitsu (松島進女性写真教室), 1969.
- Josei satsuei no jissai (女性撮影の実際. Tokyo: Amiko Shuppansha, 1951. (in Japanese)
- Josei-bi no utsushikata (女性美の寫し方). 大泉書店, 1951. (in Japanese)
- Young Lady Nude: 36 Sheets of Color. 三世新社, 1968. A portfolio.
- (Joint work) Pōtrēto nūdo fotogurafi ポートレート・ヌード・フォトグラフイ). N.p. Matsushima Susumu Fotosutajio, 1979. (in Japanese)
- Āto forumu: 70-nin no moderu ni yoru rafu-pōzu (アート・フォルム：70人のモデルによる裸婦ポーズ). Tokyo: Erute Shuppan, 1990. ISBN 4-87199-020-6. (in Japanese)
- Sutā pōtrēto-shū (スターポートレート集). (in Japanese)
- Nūdo forumu (ヌードフォルム). (in Japanese)
- Japan Professional Photographers Society, Japan Professional Photographers Society (in Japanese); JPA, Japan Photographers Association (in Japanese); both accessed 4 April 2008
- According to Shashinka wa nani o hyōgen shita ka, p.35; this gives no information beyond the title and year.
- According to Shashinka wa nani o hyōgen shita ka, p.35; this gives no information beyond the title.
- Nihon no shashin: Uchinaru katachi, sotonaru katachi 1: Torai kara 1945 made (日本の写真 内なるかたち・外なるかたち 1 渡来から1945まで) / Japanese Photography: Form In/Out 1: From Its Introduction to 1945. Tokyo: Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, 1996. (in Japanese) (in English) Exhibition catalogue. Text and captions in Japanese and English.
- Nihon shashinka jiten (日本写真家事典) / 328 Outstanding Japanese Photographers. Kyoto: Tankōsha, 2000. ISBN 4-473-01750-8. (in Japanese) Despite the English-language alternative title, all in Japanese.
- Shashinka wa nani o hyōgen shita ka: 1945–1960 (写真家はなにを表現したか1945～1960, What were photographers expressing? 1945–1960). Tokyo: Konica Plaza, 1991. (in Japanese)
- Mention of Susumu Matsushima's death (in Japanese)
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