PHOTO HISTORY MUSEUM ~ History of Photography — more than 170 years ~

The Photo History Museum is a rare venue where you can learn about the history of photography and progress of cameras through viewing and touching exhibits. Enjoy our collection displayed in three categories.

  • History of Photography

    History of Photography

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  • Hands-on Experience with Replicas

    Hands-on Experience with Replicas

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  • Films and Cameras Throughout
    the History of Fujifilm

    Films and Cameras Throughout

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The copies of exhibit catalog covering the history of photography are available at the Tokyo Service Station on the Second Floor (1,000 yen including tax).

Current Exhibitions


Photo History Museum FUJIFILM SQUARE
Things we have to treasure, Things we have to share
Selected Works by Haga Hideo, Great Master of Folklore Photography

Date : January 4, 2018 — March 31, 2018

Throughout his lifetime, Haga Hideo has portrayed various festivals around the world and established what is now known as the genre of “folklore photography”. This exhibition will show 30 finely selected works from the over 400,000 photographs that constitute the body of Haga's oeuvre, focusing on what is considered to be the point of departure of his artistic practice: His early photographs of rice farming rituals and other traditional Japanese customs.

For over 60 years now, Haga Hideo has continued to photograph traditional festivals and annual ceremonies throughout Japan and the world. Underpinned by Haga's own unique philosophical conception of folklore, these photographs transgress the narrow boundaries of documentary photography and have become the prototype of a new artistic genre, the genre of “folklore photography”.

Haga Hideo was born in Dairen (the present city of Dalian), China in 1921. When he came to Japan for the first time around the age of 18 in order to take the college entrance examination, he was overwhelmed by the country's rich nature and the aesthetic pleasures it enables. Plum and cherry trees blossoming in the warm spring sun was a sight that made a lasting impact on the young Haga and fostered his artistic sensibility.

After successfully entering Keio University, Haga — who already from the time he was in primary school had taken photographs — under the guidance of his father became a member of photographic circles and began to immerse himself into photography. A lecture by ethnologist Orikuchi Shinobu opened his eyes to the study of folklore and led him to travel through Japan to photograph the various annual celebrations and festivities throughout the country after graduation. In 1959, he published a selection of photographs of rice farming rituals under the title “Ta no kami” (Gods of the Rice Fields). He continued his work of depicting local customs and festivals, becoming one of the first photographers of Japanese folklore and although his work was still rather unknown back then, he was appointed the curator of the “Festival Square” at the Expo 1970 in Osaka. This exhibition will show 30 works from the period prior to this appointment, giving an insight into the early work of Japan's first folklore photographer.

“This rich spiritual culture of different prayers for different season is what characterized the Japanese people.(...) What I want you to see is, that despite undoubtedly having its benefits, we also have lost a lot during the process of enlightenment. Traditional festivals, for instance. And many of these festivals are an expression of the ordinary people's wishes, cries, and gratitude.”

(Haga Hideo “Sashin Minzoku-gaku”, 2017)

Haga's work of portraying ordinary Japanese people in their continuous interaction with the countless gods inhabiting their surroundings through the practice of traditional festivals allows us to rethink how our present might be traceable to the past, a past that when re-encountered might enrich our present.

Current Exhibitions

Explanation Sessions
Each day at 15:30, an explanation session of the Fujifilm Photo History Museum and the current photo exhibitions are held for retired Fujifilm staff for a period of approx. 30 minutes. All visitors to FUJIFILM SQUARE are also invited to attend these explanations sessions.

Time and days Everyday at 15:30
(including weekends and public holidays; duration: approx. 30 minutes)
VenueFujifilm Photo History Museum
* please note that seating is not available
No prior application required

In 2016, the Photo History Museum was formally approved by the Association for Corporate Support of the Arts for its “contributions to society through the promotion of arts and culture” and was permitted to use the official “This is MECENAT 2016” mark.

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