Japan Pictorialism History

In 1893 (26th year of the Meiji Period), 296 photographs arrived from London
Camera Club and the first photo expo was held in Japan. The expo was a
shock to the Japanese photo parties, who were exposed to the English
pictorialism for the first time. From that time on, many photo-associated
bodies were organized one after another, even though they remained seeking
the artistry of photograph in the traditional Japanese paintings, evaluating
the photo based on the approximation to such paintings. In the upper Meiji,
many pictorial photography were introduced and such works were imported from
Europe, especially from England, to be called the artistic photograph as a
whole, which interested the amateur in Japan. In 1904, Tetusuke Akiyama,
Seiichi Katoh and other interested persons founded an institute
"Yutsuzusha", which, with a slogan "new movement for the photo", studied the
pigment process newly imported at that time, and, in 1907, the Gum-print by
Yutsuzusha was awarded the first prize in Expo Tokyo, a trade and industry
fair in 1907. After that, the Pigment process rapidly propagated in Japan.
In 1907 (the 40th of the Meiji Period), Tetsusuke Akiyama founded Tokyo
Photograph Institute (Tokyo Shashin Kenkyukai) . It is the first bromoil
work in Japan, "Doto (Angry Waves)", which was showed by Tetsusuke Akiyama
in the exhibition held by the Institute. A large number of excellent works
with Bromoil, Carbon-prints, Gum-prints congregated in the exhibitions held
by the Institute, and their pictorial photography and pigment photography
exerted an influence on the whole country and, as a result of that, many
amateur bodies were established one by one. And, even in the late Taisho
Period and after the capital was devastated by the Kanto Earthquake, many
photo magagins were started to give rise to the epoch of artistic
photography in the ascendant. As the most important photographer at that
time, one can refer to Yasuzo Nojima, Masataka Takayama, Hakuyo Futsigami,
and Chotaro Hidaka. The pictorialism in Japan was flourished in the art
movement propelled mainly by amateurs, which is a very rare occurrence in
the world photo history. Seeing the Showa Period, however, the influence of
contemporary photography got close on Japan from Europe to make a new photo
movement, by which the pictorialism began to be criticized for its
"anachronism", and, with this as a turning point, the Japanese photo world
were driven into the contemporary photography. Simultaneously, the pigment
process gradually disappeared in Japan.