In 1904 the Naniwa Photography Club was established in Osaka by Jusaburo Kuwata of the Kuwata Photographic Materials Trading Company and Yoshinosuke Ishii. Next year the club will sponsor and exhibit its long-established Nami-ten Exhibition. The club has become central to the Geijitsu Shashin Undo (“Art Photography Movement”) thanks to the success of the club’s early members: Koro Kometani, Hakuyo Fukumori and Oori Umesaka. The first Tokyo Nami-ten exhibition was held in the Shiseido Gallery in 1926.

In the Taisho Period, 1912 to 1926, Nakaji Yasui, Bizan Ueda and others joined. Later, in the beginning of the Showa Period, 1926 to 1989, Kiyoshi Koishi, Gingo Hanawa and others joined, shifting the character of the club from Fine Art Photography to the New Photography Movement. According to Yoho Tsuda, a post-war member, the pigment printing process which was mainstream in the Naniwa style must have changed around 1929. Kiyoshi Koishi, Gingo Hanawa and Hakuyo Fukumori started to bring photograms to their regular meetings and the older generation of the club reacted negatively and left. The new generation utilized photograms, photo montage and other techniques of the New Photography Movement. In 1932, Kiyoshi Ishii published Early Summer Nerves and along with its aluminum cover the photo book was lauded as cutting edge.

As club was about to celebrate its thirtieth anniversary in 1933, under the influence of club’s members: Koro Honjo, Terushichi Hirai, Atsushi Nakafuji, Sanya Nakamori, Katsumasa Kimura, Yoshio Tarui and others; and members from other regions like Minoru Sakata who later participated in the Photo Avant-Garde NAGOYA; there was another shift from New Photography Movement to Avant-Garde Photography, a surrealist and abstract style.

A year after the Pacific War started Nakaji Yasui, the leader figure, passed away. During the war, the club unavoidably ceased activities but after the war was over, the club took out advertisements in the Osaka Shimbun Newspaper calling upon their former club members to reunite. Regular meetings resumed in the scorched remains of the city. New post-war members included Seizo Takada, Yoho Tsuda, Heihachiro Sakata and others. By 1948, the Naniwa Photography Club formerly restarted and held the first post-war Nami-ten exhibition with 4 other amateur photography clubs: Tampei Photography Club, Chikai-sha, Chiso-sha and Osaka Photographic Research Society.

From 2018 to 2019, The Naniwa Photography Club in the Post-war Period show, exhibited at Paris Photo and MEM, documents the club’s post-war restart focusing on Yoho Tsuda, Heihachiro Sakata and Shosuke Sekioka. We have chosen works that capture the ruin and industrial revitalization of post-war Japan using experimental techniques inherited from the pre-war avant-garde spirit of Naniwa Photography.

Selected Bibliography

The Founding and Development of Modern Photography in Japan, Tokyo Metropolitian Museum of Photography, 1995. 
Nami exhibition, 100th Anniversary, Naniwa Photography Club, 2005
The 100–Year Trajectory of Kansai Photographers, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, 2007
The Naniwa Photography Club in the Post-war Period: Regarding Yoho Tsuda, Shosuke Sekioka & Heihachiro Sakai, MEM, 2018

Naniwa Photography Club

Shosuke Sekioka

Heihachiro Sakai

Yoho Tsuda


 

The Naniwa Photography Club in the Post-war Period: Yoho Tsuda, Shosuke Sekioka & Heihachiro Sakai
Date|March 2 – 24, 2019
Venue|MEM

Top