Teisuke Chiba

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Teisuke Chiba (千葉 禎介 Chiba Teisuke?, 1917–1965) was a renowned Japanese amateur photographer of rural life around the area where he lived in Akita, Japan.


Chiba was born in Kakunodate, Akita on 19 October 1917, and two years later moved to Yokote, Akita, an area where he would remain. After finishing high school in 1932, he started work in a kimono shop.[1] In 1935 he bought a Rokuoh Baby Pearl camera and started photographing the rural area where he lived, particularly its everyday life, winning prizes.

Immediately after the war Chiba's photographs appeared in the contests pages of Camera and other magazines, and he became a central figure in the photographic culture of Akita (a part of Japan that would attract Ihei Kimura, Hiroshi Hamaya and other photographers). From 1952 Chiba freelanced as an Akita-based photojournalist in his free time, but after half a year's hospitalization he closed his kimono shop and opened a shop in Yokote selling photographic supplies. From around this time Chiba concentrated on photographically documenting the history of the area.

Chiba was hospitalized in October 1965 and died on 29 December 1965. In May of the following year, friends helped organize an exhibition of his posthumous works in Fuji Photo Salon, Tokyo. In 1992 his works were displayed prominently within an exhibition held by the Miyagi Museum of Art of postwar photography in Tōhoku.[2]

The first booklength collection of Chiba's works came over thirty years after his death, in a slim volume of the series Nihon no Shashinka that serves as an anthology.[3]


  • Chiba Teisuke isakushū (千葉禎介遺作集). N.p.: Chiba Teisuke Isakushū Kankōkai, 1966. A booklet of Chiba's late works.
  • (Japanese) Chiba Teisuke (千葉禎介). Nihon no Shashinka 24. Tokyo: Iwanami, 1998. ISBN 4-00-008364-3.

Related works[edit]

  • Nihon kindai shashin no seiritsu to tenkai (日本近代写真の成立と展開) / The Founding and Development of Modern Photography in Japan. Tokyo: Tokyo Museum of Photography, 1995.


  1. ^ A gofukuten (呉服店), a retailer of kimono and traditional Japanese clothing.
  2. ^ Miyagi Museum of Art exhibition: Matsumoto, p.21.
  3. ^ See comments by Ōhashi (大橋仁) in Shashinshū o yomu 2, p.207.


  • (Japanese) Matsumoto Norihiko (松本徳彦), ed. Nihon no bijutsukan to shashin korekushon (日本の美術館と写真コレクション, Japan's art galleries and photography collections). Kyoto: Tankōsha, 2002. ISBN 4-473-01894-6.
  • (Japanese) 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. Exhibition catalogue. A potted biography of Chiba appears on p. 124. Text and captions are in Japanese and English (but Chiba isn't shown or mentioned); biographies in Japanese only.
  • (Japanese) Nihon no shashinka (日本の写真家) / Biographic Dictionary of Japanese Photography. Tokyo: Nichigai Associates, 2005. ISBN 4-8169-1948-1. Pp. 261–2. Despite the English-language alternative title, all in Japanese.
  • (Japanese) Sekiji Kazuko (関次和子). "Chiba Teisuke" (千葉禎介). Nihon shashinka jiten (日本写真家事典) / 328 Outstanding Japanese Photographers. Kyoto: Tankōsha, 2000. ISBN 4-473-01750-8. P.215. Despite the English-language alternative title, all in Japanese.
  • (Japanese) Shashinshū o yomu 2: Besuto 338 kanzen gaido (写真週を読む:ベスト338完全ガイド, Reading photobooks 2: A complete guide to the best 338). Tokyo: Metarōgu, 2000. ISBN 4-8398-2024-4.