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Kineo Kuwabara is most famous for his Tokyo snapshots, a subject he worked on for half of his life. He chronicled the districts of Asakusa, Shitamachi, and Segaka-yu.
Famous for his street snapshots, Kuwabara, a prolific editor and photographer, was born in December 1913. In 1931, he decided to work on his photography skills, bringing his Vest Pocket Kodak camera wherever he goes.
Kuwabara and his neighbor Hiroshi Himaya decided to embark on a journey of capturing shots of the district of Kamakura. His photos, which he shot with a Leica C, landed him the second place in a famous photography contest. His award helped boost his confidence. From then on, he submitted portraits to photography editors who happily published them in their magazines.
After being dispatched to Manchuria for the war, Kuwabara returned to Tokyo to work as the photography editor for Camera magazine, among many other publications. Kuwabara focused on nurturing new talent, putting young photographers’ careers ahead of his.
The 1960’s to the 1970’s marked the hype about Kuwabara’s street photos. One of his most foremost fans is Nobuyoshi Araki, who worked on a joint display with Kuwabara. The exhibit, entitled “Love You, Tokyo,” was promoted in the Setagaya Art Museum.
Kuwabara passed away in 2007 at 94 years old.