Watanabe, Yoshio (渡辺義雄) – The Aim of Snapshot Photography

Watanabe, Yoshio (渡辺義雄) 1937


Watanabe, Yoshio (渡辺義雄).

Snappu shashin no neraikata (スナップ写真の狙い方) (The Aim of Snapshot Photography)

Tokyo, Genkosha, dated: Showa 12 [i.e. 1937].

(6), 268, (8)pp. with numerous photographic plates. Japanese text. 21 x 16,5 cm.

Original decorated boards in original slipcase (Design by Koshiro Onchi).


From 1925-28 Yoshio Watanabe (1907-2000) attended Konishi College of Photography. In 1931 joined the editorial staff of the monthly magazines ‚Oriental News‘ and ‚Photo Times‘. In 1934 began to work for the ‚Society of the Promotion of International Cultural Relations‘. After the war became involved in various professional organizations for the promotion of photography.

Watanabe’s first ‘How to’ book and possibly his best before the War. Hundreds of images are given detailed technical descriptions. Most of them show scenes in and around Tokyo, including some remarkable night views. They oscillate between ‘Shinko shashin’ and documentary photography. Plate 47 shows a remarkable picture of a lady sitting in a café on the Ginza. The image is divided into two parts by an open glass-fronted door reflecting the high buildings on the opposite side. It could have been taken anywhere in Paris or Berlin. After the war Watanabe concentrated almost exclusively on architectural photographs. Due to the high cost of photographic publishing ‘how-to’ books were often the only way for a photographer to get his images into print. This book is vol. 4 of the Shashin jitsugi daikoza series. Boeder 2007 / Japanese Photography from the Pre-War Period: Photobooks & Prints.

Very fine copy in the original slipcase.