Ihei Kimura

Photographer, Visual Artist

1901 – 1974


Who was Ihei Kimura?

Ihei Kimura was one of the most celebrated Japanese photographers of the twentieth century, particularly known for his portrayal of Tokyo and Akita Prefecture.

Born on 12 December 1901 in Shitaya-ku, Tokyo, Kimura started taking photographs when very young but his interest intensified when he was around 20 and living in Tainan, Taiwan, where he was working for a sugar wholesaler. He opened a photographic studio in Nippori, Tokyo in 1924. In 1930, he joined the advertising section of the soap and cosmetics company Kaō, concentrating on informal photographs made with his Leica camera. In 1933, he joined Yōnosuke Natori and others in forming the group Nippon Kōbō, which emphasized "realism" in photography using 35mm cameras; but this rapidly broke up and Kimura formed an alternative group, Chūō Kōbō with Nobuo Ina and others.

During the war, Kimura worked in Manchuria and for the publisher Tōhō-sha.

In 1950, Kimura was elected chairman of the newly formed Japan Professional Photographers Society; together with Ken Domon he did much to encourage a documentary spirit in amateur photography.

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Dec 12, 1901
Lived in
  • Tokyo

on July 23, 2013


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