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Asahi Camera

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Asahi Camera (アサヒカメラ, Asahi kamera) is a Japanese monthly photographic magazine.[1]

The first issue was that for April 1926.[2] It has from the outset been published by Asahi Shinbun-sha, publisher of the newspaper Asahi Shinbun.

From the January 1941 issue, it merged with the magazines Geijutsu Shashin Kenkyū (芸術写真研究, "Technique Photograph Studies") and Shōzō Shashin Kenkyū (肖像写真研究, "Portrait Photograph Studies"). Publication was suspended with the April 1942 issue.

Publication resumed after the Second World War with the October 1949 issue. Its cover employed a monochrome portrait of a girl by Kimura Ihee, who would become a major contributor.

Asahi Camera attempts to satisfy interests in all areas of photography, with short portfolios in monochrome and color by established and new photographers (most but not all of them Japanese), contests for readers, articles about technique, and (accounting for much of the magazine's bulk) news and tests of equipment. The April 2006 issue, for example, has over four hundred pages (many of them advertising, but the great majority editorial) with five or more pages devoted to work by each of ten photographers, the announcement of the latest Kimura Ihee Award, articles about equipment (new, old and even future), contests, and much else.

Even if one considers only its uninterrupted years of publication, from 1949, Asahi Camera is the oldest surviving Japanese photography magazine. Like any magazine that attempts to satisfy people with very different interests, it is sometimes criticized for not serving any of them particularly well, but its equipment reviews appear to be as rigorous as any and it continues to attract some of the best photographers for its portfolios. Like many photographic magazines, a lot of its covers somehow happen to show conventionally attractive young women (sometimes nude), and the overall impression it gives is unadventurous, but daring is a rare commodity in the Japanese magazine market and Asahi Camera does display work that cannot be regarded as at all commercial.

Since the demise of Camera Mainichi in 1985, the only rival as a magazine attempting to cater for all photographic interests has been Nippon Camera.

From its 1926 start until around 1932, in addition to the katakana title, the magazine was prominently titled in English, Asahi Camera: The Japanese Journal of Photography. A shortened version, Asahi Camera, continued as an alternative title until late in the twentieth century but is now (2007) written "ASAHICAMERA".

Covers Edit

Notes Edit

  1. While "Asahi" has consistently been written in kanji (viz. 朝日) for the newspaper title, the titles of most of the publisher's other periodicals and imprints, and the publisher's name itself, the Japanese name of Asahi Camera has consistently been in katakana.
  2. During the twentieth century, Japanese monthly magazines routinely came out in the month before the cover date, or even the month before that.

Sources Edit

In English:

In Japanese:

  • Asahi Camera within Japanese-language Wikipedia
  • Shirayama Mari (白山眞理). "Nihon no shashin/kamera zasshi" (日本の写真・カメラ雑誌). Nihon shashin-shi gaisetsu (日本写真史概説, "An outline history of photography in Japan"). Tokyo: Iwanami, 1999. ISBN 4-00-008381-3.
  • Shirayama Mari (白山眞理). Shashin zasshi no kiseki (写真雑誌の奇跡, "Traces of camera magazines"). Tokyo: JCII Library, 2001.

This article is based on "Asahi Camera", the 14 October 2006 version of the article within English-language Wikipedia

Links Edit

In Japanese:

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