The companies treated below are called either "Nippon Kōki" or "Nihon Kōki" (Nippon and Nihon are alternate readings for the same word, meaning Japan). There are hints that the former name was preferred, at least at some periods.
Prewar and wartime company Edit
Nippon Kōki K.K. (日本光機㈱, meaning Japan Optics Co., Ltd.) was a Japanese camera maker in the late 1930s and early 1940s. From 1939 it made the Well Standard and Well Super cameras distributed by Misuzu Shōkai. Its address in 1943 was Yodobashi-ku Higashi-Ōkubo (東京都淀橋区東大久保2–306) in Tokyo.
Another company called Nippon Kōki (日本光器, written with different characters), making lenses and filters, was reportedly founded in July 1938 as part of the Riken Konzern (group of companies linked to the Riken Institute).
Postwar company Edit
In 1949, a company called Nippon Kōki Kōgyō K.K. (日本光機工業㈱) advertised the Semi Sport camera and the Lucky enlarger, two products that were made before 1945 by Fujimoto. The address of the company was Minami-ku Junkei 2-chōme (大阪市南区順慶二丁目) in Osaka. It is not known if it was related to the previous Nippon Kōki.
This company was later simply called Nippon Kōki K.K. (日本光機㈱) and released the Silverflex and Silver Six cameras in 1953 and 1954. It retained the same address in Osaka, Junkei and had subsidiary plants in Osaka, Imazato (大阪・今里) and Tokyo, Setagaya (東京・世田ヶ谷). It is said that it made a series of enlargers called Lucky Silver before making the cameras. At the time, the company used the Roman name "Nippon Koki", visible on the back of the Silver Six and Calm Six.
In 1955, the company made the Calm Six. At that date, its address was Setagaya-ku Daita (世田ヶ谷区代田) 1–748 in Tokyo, presumably because it moved to its Setagaya plant. It is said that it went bankrupt in July, 1957.
Other companies with a similar name exist today (2009). They are probably not related to the above companies. For example Nippon Kōki Kōgyō K.K. (日本光機工業㈱), based in Kawasaki, makes parts for lighthouses since 1919, and K.K. Nihon Kōki Seisakusho (㈱日本光器製作所, abbreviated as Nikko) makes eyeglasses and safety glasses.
Camera list Edit
| Well Standard|
Prewar and wartime:
- Silverflex (6×6 TLR)
- Silver Six (6×6 folder, uncoupled rangefinder)
- Silver Super Six (6×6 folder, coupled rangefinder)
- Calm Six, Calm Six S and Calm Six J (6×6 folder, coupled rangefinder)
- Calm Six Deluxe and Calm Six II (6×6 folder, coupled rangefinder)
- ↑ "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras").
- ↑ Chronology of the Riken Konzern.
- ↑ Advertisement dated September 1949 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.143.
- ↑ Advertisements dated 1953 and 1954 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.140.
- ↑ Lewis, p.82.
- ↑ Advertisement dated August 1955 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.131.
- ↑ Lewis, p.104.
- ↑ Official website of Nippon Kōki Kōgyō.
- ↑ Official website of Nihon Kōki Seisakusho.
- Asahi Camera (アサヒカメラ) editorial staff. 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.
- "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.
- Lewis, Gordon, ed. The History of the Japanese Camera. Rochester, N.Y.: George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography & Film, 1991. ISBN 0-935398-17-1 (paper), ISBN 0-935398-16-3 (hard). Pp.82 and 104.