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

    Please note that the ‘Touch & try’ experience for exhibits has been canceled to contain the spread of novel coronavirus infections.

  • 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 FUJIFILM SQUARE (1,000 yen including tax).

Current Exhibitions

Photo

FUJIFILM SQUARE Photo History Museum Exhibition
Ryoji Akiyama
Tsugaru: Ryōji-sensei gyōjōki (Tale of Tsugaru by Ryoji-sensei)

Date : January 4, 2021 — March 31, 2021

Ryoji Akiyama (1942—) is one of the principal photographers of postwar Japan. His photographs of the people and the sights he has come across on his travels and sojourns in Japan and abroad are captured with a unique sense of distance and timing, and highly acclaimed both internationally and in Japan.

After working at the Tokyo bureau of The Associated Press (AP) and the photography department at Asahi Shimbun, Akiyama became a freelance photographer in 1967. At first, he actively documented social issues such as starvation in India or depopulation on the remote island of Hachijojima with the eye of a photojournalist, but he gradually came to recognize that he was not cut out for journalism. Realizing the importance of looking more closely at his own surroundings, Akiyama drew close to the people he encountered on his travels and in the places where he stayed, adapting his creative style toward photographs that reveal his sense of warmth toward the sights he saw.

Published in 1978 as Akiyama's first collection of photographs, Tsugaru: Ryōji-sensei gyōjōki is an early masterpiece. About seven years after setting up as an independent photographer, Akiyama made up his mind to leave Tokyo for a time and to live somewhere else where he would create new work based on a unique concept. His idea was to dispatch himself to a regional city as the correspondent for a fictional news bureau, thinking that something would emerge out of the photographs of daily life that he dispatched in his reports to the fictional head office. Akiyama moved with his family to Hirosaki in Aomori prefecture, where they stayed from the summer of 1975 to the spring of 1977. Here, Akiyama assumed his fictional role, recording the time he spent in the Tsugaru area and the people he encountered in loving and lighthearted photographs. These photographs capture the culture of a regional city that was thriving in the postwar period of rapid economic growth, but they also reflect the warm gaze of a sympathetic photographer and, if only for a moment, the daily lives and subtleties of life in Tsugaru among people who shared a particular place and time.

This exhibition shows newly produced original prints of thirty carefully selected images taken over approximately two years from 1975 and published in Akiyama's masterpiece Tsugaru: Ryōji-sensei gyōjōki. Today, more than forty years have passed since these images were taken, and, in step with the changing times, photography has undergone a technical and conceptual transformation. However, the photographs that Akiyama took in Tsugaru in the 1970s vividly express the starting point for photography, which is to record a particular moment. These photographs are imprinted with singular moments in the lives of these people and an era that could only be captured then and there. The atmosphere of old-fashioned Japan and the warmth shared among the people in Akiyama's photographs may feel nostalgic to one generation and fresh to another, but they also provide us, who live in the modern world, with moments of peace and a new way of looking.

We hope you will enjoy the warm and witty take on the world of photographer Ryoji Akiyama.

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
Admissionfree
No prior application required


In 2020, 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 2020” logo.

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