Takashi Kijima

Visual Artist

1920 –


Who is Takashi Kijima?

Takashi Kijima was a Japanese photographer best known for his photographs of nudes and of flowers.

Kijima was born in Calexico, California on 24 December 1920, the son of a Mr Watanabe, a shoe manufacturer who had immigrated in 1905, and his wife Sei. The boy's name as a US citizen was Ryu Watanabe. In 1924, the Immigration Act and anti-Japanese sentiment brought the family back to Japan, where it separated: the boy's elder brother followed his father to Osaka while Takashi lived with his mother's family in Ōshinotsu, Tottori. In 1935 his father gave him a Zeiss Semi Ikonta camera, starting his interest in photography. Despite retaining US nationality at a time of anti-US sentiment, he majored in film at Nihon University, graduating in 1943. Although his elder brother was teaching Japanese to the US Navy and his father was incarcerated in a relocation camp in California, Kijima joined the naval air corps, in a kamikaze unit.

At the end of the war, carrying the Rolleicord of one of his wartime comrades, Kijima returned to Yonago and studied photography under Shōji Ueda. Kijima became a proponent of the realist views of Ken Domon, as expressed in Camera magazine. A portrait of an old woman won effusive praise from Domon on its submission to a contest held by Camera.

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Dec 24, 1920

on July 23, 2013


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