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    This exact print is also found officially cataloged (or numbered in the negative) and published by....

    KIMBEI (#1164),

    TAMAMURA (#555 B),

    ENAMI (#291),

    SUZUKI II (#489) --- This number was caught and reported by Noel43 in the comments below.

    AND OTHERS (#S 27),

    .....not to mention many anonymous prints having the number and title cropped off entirely. The above print used for this post was made by T. ENAMI after 1892.

    ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, I feel confident that the original negative was by the above listed SUZUKI II, and is from one of his earliest series when he was first associated with his father-in-law, SUZUKI I (Suzuki the Elder --- photographer of the famous "Shajo Series" found in one of my dedicated Flickr Sets). The Suzuki Clan was not known for issuing prints by others, which strengthens my conviction that is by him (the Younger). Thanks to Noel43 for helping to solve a mystery that has bugged me for so long !


    The leaning pines seem to be pulled in by a magnetic attraction of the Castle. The Castle is topped with two HUGE golden carp (not dolphins) that catch the eye on a sunny day. One foreign visitor said "...Those are Killer Whales up there...".

    In this picture, you can see the fish up on the roof corners with their tails lifted to the sky, encased in a transparent egg of chicken wire to keep pigeons from roosting up there and pooping all over them. Those were the good-old-days. The modern-day restoration has them fully uncovered in all of their golden glory.

    One of the carp can bee seen here, which will help to make sense of what you are looking at in the above picture:

    However, being of sound mind, I am more attracted to the symmetrical system of rain gutters and down-spouts. Nothing impresses me more than a good drainage system....or seeing a Yoshiwara Girl in full dress operating a jack-hammer on some tough concrete.



    While having made visual inspection of nearly 2,000 small-format Enami related images, I could only do the same for about 300 of his larger albumen prints. Making up for this relative dearth of classic album views available for study on my side of the fence, British photo historian Terry Bennett independently spent many years in England and France viewing private collections of Enami-attributed material --- much of it in albums that were lacking Enami's wet-stamp, yet offered other cluse in the images themselves. His efforts and intuition resulted in a huge and valuable list of nearly 400 Enami's album-view numbers and titles.

    But, without an Enami cataloge from his own studio, how accurate could Bennett really be ?

    At that time (prior to 2006), an actual Enami-published cataloge of his own views was unknown and as yet undiscovered. However, this is no longer the case. Enami's catalog has been found, and though the listing of album views is far larger than the number given in Bennett's hard-earned accounting of Enami's work, it has also revealed that Bennett's list was for the most part free of error --- an amazing feat considering the similarity of numbers and font style between Enami's work and the work of others of his day.

    Kudos to Terry Bennett !

    Today, in spite of the discovery of Enami's printed catalog, the listing of visually recognized and inspected Enami images appearing in Bennett's 2006 Data Guide has only increased by about 100 views since the Data Guide was published. Hundreds more album views remain "out there" to be found and offered to the institutional and collecting world as "newly recognized" works by Enami.

    It should be noted that --- as with KIMBEI and others during the late Meiji-era --- "published by" did not always mean "photographed by".

    Enami is known to have cataloged and published only a handful of views that were not by him --- yet these were far less than the number of Kimbei-published views that were not by Kimbei ! That is to say, concerning studio/photographer attribution, Enami's output was much "purer" than that of the Kimbei studio.

    The above Enami-cataloged-and-published image of Nagoya Castle is one of these very few not-by-Enami "Enami Views" found in Enami's own printed catalog of images available from his Yokohama studio. Kimbei and Tamamura also cataloged the same image under a different negative numbers, and I believe it was a "stock gift or trade" from one of these photographers to Enami during the early 1890s --- no piracy or copyright violation being involved here.

    There were, in fact, several PUBLIC DOMAIN images being used by many photographers and dealers --- photos that were well out of copyright under the Japanese laws of those times (when copyrights were expensive to obtain, and granted for only very short times)

    More on the subject when I get my book printed.

    1. Greg Miles 85 months ago | reply

      I am very interested to see this photograph as we visited the concrete rebuilt version last year, the original having been fire bombed in WW2. They have just commenced on a restoration project.

    2. Okinawa Soba (Rob) 85 months ago | reply

      I also visited here once.

    3. Lulybelle 85 months ago | reply

      great shot...I've been here many times! All these old photographs are so interesting!

    4. Steve-kun 81 months ago | reply

      Would you like to join the new Nagoya group to show this photo?

    5. magoo on safari 60 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Kusakabe Kimbei Studio, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    6. only1tanuki 44 months ago | reply

      For those interested in seeing other renditions, as referenced by Okinawa Soba--here is an identical image at the NYPL here on flickr, accredited to Kimbei:

    7. Okinawa Soba (Rob) 44 months ago | reply

      Tanuki ! Yes, I've seen that one, and also have my own KIMBEI and ENAMI published prints. I love the way those trees lean in.

    8. only1tanuki 44 months ago | reply

      Did I miss the them? I hope You don't mind me linking to the NYPL one for those interested in seeing variations of the same print...

      In other news, Shimoda City is wondering when You will make a triumphant return.

    9. noel43 37 months ago | reply

      I've just spotted this photo in Bennett's "Photography in Japan" (p.173). The copy used in the book has a series no. 489 (both in kanji and digits), a title "Nagoya" and is attributed to Suzuki Shinichi II

    10. Okinawa Soba (Rob) 37 months ago | reply

      Noel ! You are the eagle-eyed man of the hour ! Although I don't have the book with me now, I've read through it years ago --- and totally missed that numbering and attribution.

      Suzuki I (Suzuki II's father in law) also numbered all of his early images with the same dual Kanji / Digits system. However, all series images I've seen by the elder started with the number 1000 and went up from there.

      You are right about Bennett's attribution, because I can see it in his Data Guide, which I do have with me.

      I will go with your "discovery", and add it to the caption. Thanks again !

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