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Yasuzo Nojima, born 1889 in Hiromasa, is a famous figure when it comes to contemporary Japanese photography. His styles in pictorial photography (kaiga shugi shashin) and straight photography (toshinko shashin) continue to be emulated until today.
Although Nojima studied Economics in Keio University, his passion for photography shined through. Nojima’s first photos beamed with pictorialism, which is a result of the pigment-printing method that was used in the early days. But in the 1930’s he shifted his style “unique expressionism” which was highly influenced by German photographers.
Together with Ihei Kimura and Iwata Nakayama, Nojima founded the Koga photography magazine, which became a medium for introducing international photography theories and new styles such as the shinko shashin.
Apart from being an established photographer, Nojima is also an art patron. In 1919 he opened the Kabutoya Gado gallery in Tokyo. With the funds coming out from his own pocket, he showcased the works of talented novices such as the Shirakaba-ha (White Birch Group), Ryuzaburo Umehara, and Ryusei Kishada.
Apart from giving these artists a chance to showcase their talents, Nojima also acted as their official photographer. His photos gave them the opportunity to be published in art magazines and what not.