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03-30-2013, 03:22 AM - 1 Like   #91
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffshaddix Quote
This is impressive work by all involved, and I think it would make a great front page article when the time is right. Bravo for the time spent researching and honoring the grave of the man behind the Takumar eponym. Best of luck, Mike, on contacting the family.

Cheers!
I'm writing an article in parallel to this, but there is still some important gaps to fill before I'm ready to post it anywhere. My intention is also to make an entry about Takuma Kajiwara on wikipedia.

03-30-2013, 06:22 AM   #92
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
This is silly, but I suppose they continuously scan more and more material and make it available on-line.
Yes, they are a different breed of cat. They want to manage what they scan and who has access to the scans - a vestigal attitude from when they were a PRIVATE library. Recently the collection and teh associated Foundation was donated to the University of Missouri - St. Louis. Gradually things are changing but the library foundation always needs money, whereas the Library of Congress has a seemingly limitless budget.

FWIW my daughter has a reader card and an archive USERID at Library of Congress for the 19th Century Americanists section. I'll ask her if that might include access to this collection.
03-30-2013, 09:29 AM   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Yes, I can see on the moustach that they must be related
Well, I bet the glasses would be cute on him.
03-30-2013, 11:39 AM   #94
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Well, I bet the glasses would be cute on him.
Yes, and the silk hat and cravat as well...but he probably wouldn't like the cigar

03-30-2013, 12:07 PM - 2 Likes   #95
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Yes, and the silk hat and cravat as well...but he probably wouldn't like the cigar
Happy Eastern to all of you!

And here, for your enjoyment, Takuma Kajiwara picturing himself as a samurai. From St Louis Post Dispatch, Dec 22, 1929, Sunday journal:

03-30-2013, 12:29 PM   #96
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How is Heaven's name do you find all of this from Stockholm when it is 12 miles from my house?
03-30-2013, 02:58 PM   #97
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Happy Eastern to all of you!

And here, for your enjoyment, Takuma Kajiwara picturing himself as a samurai. From St Louis Post Dispatch, Dec 22, 1929, Sunday journal:
How do you know he wasn't playing William Tell?
03-30-2013, 04:39 PM - 2 Likes   #98
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
How do you know he wasn't playing William Tell?
Because William Tell used a crossbow.

03-30-2013, 04:58 PM   #99
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
How is Heaven's name do you find all of this from Stockholm when it is 12 miles from my house?
What can I say....it is a small planet!
04-01-2013, 03:24 AM - 2 Likes   #100
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Since a few hours I am the happy owner of a Takuma Kajiwara portrait. Though it still will take some time for it to reach me by mail, here it is from the ebay add:


Notice the signature and studio logo, which is typical for the period ca 1919 to 1935, when his studios where in the Century building:




An earlier signature and studio logo from the period in 108 Olive street in 1905 to about 1918 looks like this:


This at least help for a primitive dating.


Now an honor place on the walls here await this portrait

EDIT: Mike, can you read the Japanese "stamp" on the passe-par-toutes? Is it just his name in Japanese?

Last edited by Douglas_of_Sweden; 04-01-2013 at 07:33 AM.
04-02-2013, 07:19 PM   #101
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I'm stuck in writing research proposals...so I'm going to write down something else I had in mind for a while.

Top 10 current questions about Takuma Kajiwara:

1. Who were his parents? We only know he and his brothers came from a samurai family. But Kajiwara appears to be a common name among samurais (are all samurais with this family name related?). He was born in Kyūshi, Japan, on November 15 in 1876 (Meiji 9), as the third of five brothers, and that the family presumably had a tradition in art (extending back into the samurai period as well). But I would like to know more.
2. What did he do during his first years in the US? We only know that there was a note about Takuma Kajiwara under "hotel arrivals" August 18, 1898, in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and that he is supposed to have worked as a photographer already then.
3. How did he learn to know George Eastman, the founder of Kodak, and how close was their relationship? Is this even true? My only guess so far is that if "Papa Cramer" was the dry plate manufacturer that invited him to St Louis, he may have met Eastman through him.
4. In several interviews he is described as an amateur philosopher and it is mentioned that he wrote essays of some sort of philosophy thoughts. Did they ever get published?
5. What camera(s) did he use, and lenses, and photographic techniques? Since all photo's so far is rectangular, a quadratic format is unlikely, but that is all I can guess.
6. Why did he spend so long time in Japan in 1938-1939, and even stayed long after his wife returned to the US? Is there any truth in my suspicion that he and his nephew Matsumoto who had recently taken over Asahi Optical Company already then planned for producing a camera, and that the war came in between?
7. What happened with him during the WW2? He should not have got interned since he lived on the east coast (from what I understand it was only Japanese people from the west coast states that got interned), but it must have been tough to be Japanese in the USA those years. From what comes out from interviews he did not share the Japanese governments view of Japanese superiority, fascism etc, but rather the opposite, but given that he was of a samurai family, had worked for the Japanese court for a while, had a brother running an industry (forced to) work for the Japanese military etc...did he have FBI hanging over his shoulder? There isn't yet a single reference to what he did during the war, which is itself strange.
8. How much was he involved in the development of the Asahiflex system? It is supposed that his role was mostly to lend his name to the US marketing, and to the lenses, but even if I'm wrong about what happened in 1938-39, Matsumoto went to New York, and Kajiwara to Tokyo some years before the Asahiflex was launched in the US.
9. Why is it so hard to find reproductions of his paintings? So far I have only black and white reproductions (fairly bad ones) of three paintings, and color photos of one sure Kajiwara portrait, and one unconfirmed (not even the company that has it for sale dare say anything else than that it is a possible "Kajiwara"). But he is supposed to gradually have moved away from photography into oil painting, and many of his paintings is supposed to have won awards and been hang on many exhibitions. Where are they now?
10. Why did he remarry at such high age after Fern's death? How did he meat his Japanese wife, who was she, what happened to her after his death, and why isn't she in the family grave?
11. What happened to photo's, negatives and paintings in his belongings after his death? Are his negatives lost as so many other photographic treasures, or are they kept safe somewhere at a museum, or within the Kajiwara/Matsumoto family?

Mmh, that was actually 11 questions, but I can't decide which one to remove...

As it seams I now have a small staff of co-workers on this quest, perhaps we can answer some of these questions. Especially 7 and 8 should interest anyone interested in the history of Pentax.

So for you who had the patience to read this boring list, here is a bonus.

So far these are the only photographs by Takuma Kajiwara I've been able to find, that are not studio-portraits:







This is supposed to be the Japanese Garden of one Leonar Matthews at 5447 Cabanne, St Louis, at about 1912.
Did he shoot this with the same camera as in the studio portraits, or something else? Did he take other jobs like this?

Last edited by Douglas_of_Sweden; 04-02-2013 at 07:31 PM.
04-02-2013, 08:42 PM   #102
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First photo of a fairly young Kajiwara.

Takuma Kajiwara (sitting) and Frederik Oakes Sylvester at the Oak Ledge cottage at Elsah. This must be from between 1905 and 1915 (when Sylvester died).

Not a very clear photo...but I suppose that is the mentioned silk hat, and I do spot a moustach.

This photo comes from "Frederik Oakes Sylvester: The artists encounter with Elsah" by Paul O. Williams. I've sited this text before, but now I've found it as a pdf so I could see also photo's and paintings in it.
04-03-2013, 01:46 AM   #103
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Wow you have done alot of work already.

QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
10. Why did he remarry at such high age after Fern's death? How did he meat his Japanese wife, who was she, what happened to her after his death, and why isn't she in the family grave?
I don't find it strange that the second wife is not buried with him. My Dad married his second wife after 50 years of living with my mom and less than a year after we lost her. He was almost 80 and he really needed someone, he was very lonely. Mom and Dad are buried together - I don't know where the new wife is buried - perhaps with her first husband. When dealing with people anything can and often does happen.



Liz in Calgary
04-03-2013, 01:50 AM   #104
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Since it is a communal family tomb the question of whether wife #2 went in or not may have had more to do with the other relatives' wishes than his or hers. Just a possibility.
04-03-2013, 02:20 AM   #105
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I may have a hint on question three...it turns out that by 1902 Kodak had taken over one of the three dry plate giants in St Louis, the Seed dry plate Co.
That could actually imply that the dry plate manufacturer who hired Takuma in ~1903 could have been George Eastman himself, or someone he appointed to run the former Seed plant, through whom Takuma could have learned to know Eastman. In that case my idea about Papa Cramer is obviously wrong. But we need to find concrete evidence. And doing so it could be that we may solve two questions at the same time.
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