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Hokoku

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Japanese Semi (4.5×6)
Prewar and wartime models (edit)
folding
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unknown
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Postwar models ->
Japanese SLR, TLR, pseudo TLR and stereo ->
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The Hokoku (ホウコク) is a Japanese 4.5×6 folder made by Kuribayashi at the beginning of the 1940s, about which very little is known. At the time, Kuribayashi was already making at least three distinct lines of 4.5×6 folders: the Semi First, the Baby Semi First and the Semi Rotte, each with a different body. It is not known if the Hokoku was related to one of these of if it was yet another model. (The same question arises about the Mizuho.)

Documents Edit

The list of set prices compiled on October 25, 1940 and published in January 1941, mentions a "Hōkoku I" (報国Ⅰ) for ¥62 and a "Hōkoku II" (報国Ⅱ) for ¥88, with no further detail.[1] (The word hōkoku, when written 報国, means "devotion to the country".) A similar list dated November 1941 mentions the same two models and attributes them to Kuribayashi.[2]

The "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), listing Japanese camera production as of April 1943, mentioned the Hokoku I and Hokoku II as made and distributed by Kuribayashi.[3] In this document, the name is written in katakana ホウコク. Both models have a Hokoku 75/4.5 three-element lens made by Ogasawara (like the Mizuho lens of the Mizuho).[4] The Hokoku I has a Hokoku shutter (25–200, T, B) and the Hokoku II has a Rotte shutter (1–200, T, B), both in #00 size and made by Kuribayashi itself.[5] The Rotte shutter is certainly the same as observed on examples of the BB Baby Semi First and BB Semi Rotte.

No surviving example of the Hokoku has been observed so far.

Notes Edit

  1. "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 3, sections 3A and 6A.
  2. "Kamera no kōtei kakaku kanpō happyō", November 1941, type 3, sections 3A and 6A.
  3. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), items 69–70.
  4. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), lens item Lc16.
  5. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), shutter items 18-P-5 and 18-P-21. The shutter size (#00) is called "type 18" (18型) in the document.

Bibliography Edit

  • "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" (国産写真機ノ現状調査, Inquiry into Japanese cameras), listing Japanese camera production as of April 1943. Reproduced in Supuringu kamera de ikou: Zen 69 kishu no shōkai to tsukaikata (スプリングカメラでいこう: 全69機種の紹介と使い方, Let's try spring cameras: Presentation and use of 69 machines). Tokyo: Shashinkogyo Syuppan-sha, 2004. ISBN 4-87956-072-3. Pp.180–7. Items 69–70.
  • "Kamera no kōtei kakaku kanpō happyō" (カメラの公定価格官報発表, Official announcement of the set prices of the cameras), November 1941. Extract of a table listing Japanese camera production and setting the retail prices, reproduced in "Bebī Semi Fāsuto 'Kore ha bebī wo nanotta semi-ki da'" (ベビーセミファースト"これはベビーを名乗ったセミ機だ", Baby Semi First, 'this is a Semi camera called Baby'), an article by Furukawa Yasuo (古川保男) in Camera Collectors' News no. 277 (July 2000). Nishinomiya: Camera Collectors News-sha. P. 27. Type 3, sections 3A and 6A.
  • "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku" (国産写真機の公定価格, Set prices of the Japanese cameras), listing Japanese camera production as of October 25, 1940 and setting the retail prices from December 10, 1940. Published in Asahi Camera January 1941 and reproduced in Shōwa 10—40nen kōkoku ni miru kokusan kamera no rekishi (昭和10〜40年広告にみる国産カメラの歴史, Japanese camera history as seen in advertisements, 1935—1965). Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1994. ISBN 4-02-330312-7. Pp.108—9. Type 3, sections 3A and 6A.

This camera is not listed in Sugiyama nor in Kokusan kamera no rekishi.


Kuribayashi prewar and wartime cameras (edit)
rollfilm folders
Eagle | Speed Pocket | First Roll | First Center | Semi First | First Six | Baby Semi First | Semi Rotte | Hokoku | Mizuho
plate folders rigid SLR TLR unknown
Mikuni | First | First Etui | Kokka | Romax | Tokiwa Molby Speed Reflex First Reflex Baby First

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