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Photo: Shoji Ueda

Shoji Ueda Photo Exhibition
“Vest Pocket Sketches: White Winds: Brilliant Scenes”

FUJIFILM SQUARE Photo History Museum Photo Exhibition

June 30 – September 28, 2022 (The exhibition closes at 16:00 on the final day)




  • The exhibited color works by photographer Shoji Ueda employ a method commonly known in Japan as “Vest-Pocket-Single-Lens-without-a-hood Shooting,” which was prevailing in Japan's rising art photography in his youth. Almost half a century later Ueda revived this method using color films to display his experimental spirit.
  • The exhibition consists of the recently discovered precious vintage prints that were originally used for the 1981 publication of Ueda's photo collection “White Winds”. This is their first time shown to the public.
  • The exhibition portrays a clear definition of his “landscape” as Ueda spent all his life in his native Sanin Region (the Japan Sea coast of the Chugoku Region including Tottori, Shimane, and Yamaguchi prefectures) as a nonprofessional photographer.

About the exhibition

Shoji Ueda (1913 – 2000), while remained in his native Sanin Region all his life, broke a new ground for art photography with his experimental spirit and nonprofessional playfulness. His works, lined with his inimitable sensitivity, still today attract admiration and acclaim from people across generations and national borders.

The Taisho Era (1912 – 1926) when Ueda became strongly attracted to photography was the time the art photography in Japan was flourishing and among the amateur photographers a method to produce soft focus effect was to remove a lens filter hood off a single lens of the popular Vest Pocket Kodak camera. A number of masterpieces was born by this method and young Shoji also employed it for his black-and-whites.

“White Winds” is one of the series of landscape photo collections by Shoji Ueda, for which he revived this specific method in color. For the shooting, then-state-of-the-art “Fuji Color F-II” negative color films were used. This exhibition displays forty select original prints that created “White Winds” published by Nihon Camera-sha in 1981.

Long ago, nearly a half century ago, when I started to follow this path, the technique of expression used by the group of people so-called Vest Pocket Single Lens School had swept the country with its unique soft depiction despite of the cheap lens.
Now, if I am to reproduce these old and pale art photos in full natural color with today’s negative color film technology, what will become of them? That was the origin of my conception and stimulated my curiosity extremely.

Shoji Ueda

Profile of the Photographer

Shoji Ueda (1913 – 2000)

Shoji Ueda was born in 1913 in Sakai-machi, Saihaku-gun (now Sakaiminato City), Tottori Prefecture. During his junior high school years, Shoji discovered and fell in love with photography.
In 1931, he was enrolled in Oriental School of Photography (founded by the camera manufacturer Oriental) in Tokyo. After graduation, Ueda returned to his native town and started a commercial photo studio at age of 19. Around the same time, photo magazines and exhibitions began to pick up his works and soon he started to gain attention, particularly with his characteristic group portraits of choreographed people on sandy beaches or the Tottori Sand Dunes.
Although his choreographed works were disrupted in the rise of the Realism Movement in the beginning of the 1950s, the publication of his photo collection “Warabegoyomi (Children the Year Round)” in 1971 brought a revival of his fame in and out of Japan, particularly in Europe where he was invited to the Arles international Photography Festival (Arles Rencontres de la Photographie) in 1978 and 1983.
Ueda was awarded many awards and medals including the Person of Cultural Merit from Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs at their 10th anniversary commemoration (1978), the Domestic Photographer Award at the 4th Higashigawa International Photo Festival (1988), the Distinguished Contributions Award from the Photographic Society of Japan (1989), L'Ordere des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture (1996), and the 1st Citizen's Outstanding Achievement Award from Tottori Prefecture (1998).
In 1995, the Shoji Ueda Museum of Photography opened in Kishimoto-cho (now Houki-cho), Saihaku-gun, Tottori Prefecture.
Shoji Ueda died in 2000 (aged 87).

Exhibition overview

Title FUJIFILM SQUARE Photo History Museum Photo Exhibition
Shoji Ueda Photo Exhibition
“Vest Pocket Sketches: White Winds: Brilliant Scenes”
Dates June 30 (Thu) – September 28 (wed), 2022
Time 10:00 - 19:00
(Until 16:00 on the final day. Entry allowed up to 10 minutes before closing.)
Open every day for the full duration of the exhibition.
Venue Photo History Museum, FUJIFILM SQUARE
Admission Free

* This is a Mecenat exhibition and is open to the general public for free.

Number of exhibits About 40
Organized by FUJIFILM Corporation
Planned by /
Cooperation from
Contact Co., Ltd.  ,  Shoji Ueda Office

The exhibition presents forty select works from the photo collection “White Winds” (1981, Nihon Camera-sha) by Shoji Ueda, one of the leading photographers of Japan.
The exhibited works are the original prints that were submitted to the printer for the publication of the book and kept in storage for some decades — for the public to see at this exhibition for the first time.

* This exhibition may be cancelled or rescheduled for unavoidable circumstances. Visit FUJIFILM SQUARE online or call for updates.


~ History of Photography — more than 170 years ~

Not many museums focus on the historical evolution of the photographic arts and cameras like you will discover here. More than 170 years of history are recounted through exhibits of antique cameras and Fujifilm products, as well as periodic exhibitions of historically significant photos. You will revel at how photography has transitioned over the years.

In 2022, The FUJIFILM SQUARE Photo History Museum was recognized by the Association for Corporate Support of the Arts for “contributions to society through the promotion of arts and culture” and has been authorized to use the “THIS IS MECENAT 2022” logo.