In honor of T. Enami’s 150th Birthday, here’s a large SLIDE SHOW of his old images of long-gone JAPAN from the Okinawa_Soba Archives. These Feb 17, 2009 posts are in addition to the many other T. ENAMI slide, print, and stereoviews already uploaded to flickr in 2008. They can all be found in the COLLECTION and SETS dedicated to Enami’s photographic labors in Japan :


QUESTION : Wow, this is your second packed set of these old slides. How many of them did Enami make ?

ANSWER : Enami published a circa 1901 Catalog list of exactly 861 Japanese lantern-slide and print titles, all based on his early 2-D work from 1892 through about 1900.

On top of that, his circa 1908 catalog of Stereoviews offered an additional 1,012 titles available as Lantern slides made from half-stereoviews (photographed from about 1898 through 1907).

And on top of that, another 1000 or so images from the Taisho era (1912-1926) were also popular sellers.

And, on top of THAT, he also offered 100s more of the PHILIPPINES, CHINA, and other locations throughout Asia.

So far, I've seen about 800 of his Japan slide images (all beautiful and interesting), and several of the PHILIPPINE and CHINA images he listed.

I've also seen another 500 or so lantern-slide images of the world that were NOT taken by him, but instead, were processed and colored by his studio for world-traveling tourists who passed through Yokohama..

Based on known numbers from his different periods and negative stock, I estimate there are at least a few thousand possible Enami titles to collect in Lantern-slide format. I would certainly not be surprised if others have whole boxed sets filled with many images I have never seen before.

Enami was a hard-working, prolific artist, and I seriously doubt that any collector or archive will ever complete a full set of his work. Of course, the same can be said for many photographers from the Meiji era.

NOTE : These slides in this set are all made from half-STEREOVIEW negatives, and were made in both SLIDE and STEREO versions, both colored and black & white.

Any of these images in this set may be used for your own non-commercial creative, educational, or Web use.

“SLIDE SHOW” is the right description for the photos your are looking at here, as each one is taken from an original glass slide—either 3 ¼” x 3 ¼” square EUROPEAN SIZE, or 3 ¼” x 4” AMERICAN SIZE. The actual image size is SMALLER than these dimensions due to the surrounding paper mask—usually cut with rounded corners—where the label and caption for the image is usually placed.

The colored ones were all laboriously hand tinted by colorists under T. Enami’s direction -- many being done with brushes as thin as a single hair.

Although Enami was famous for his beautiful colored slides, he also sold his slides (and likewise his stereoviews) in black & white—although such slides are actually rarer than the colored ones.

The black & white images appearing here are not computer conversions from color, but are the original uncolored “prints on glass” the customer purchased them at Enami’s studio. (I have also gathered them into a separate set).

The intent of the slide maker was not to have his little glass slides looked at in the hand, but rather to have them PROJECTED onto a LARGE SCREEN to be enjoyed by many. Therefore, I have cropped down on the slide, and left only the border of the original mask showing around the image. This is how you would have viewed the image during a slide show in a home, church, or auditorium. For now, your computer monitor is filling in for all of those locations.

Enami, whose real name was NOBUKUNI ENAMI (or, in Japanese name order, ENAMI NOBUKUNI) was a “photographer’s photographer” who plied his trade as a student and assistant photographer in his youthful 20s, until he died at age 70 in 1929. His own studio, established in Yokohama in 1892 when he was 33 years old, passed to his son who carried on as a commercial photo processor and publisher of his father’s photographs. When the studio was “closed forever” by the fire-bombings of WW2, it had been in continual existence for 53 years—one of the longest running studios to come out of Japan’s old Meiji era.

Here’s a look at the outside of his studio : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/2413137039/

And an unusual view of workers on the inside : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/2494892753/

A better look at Enami and his photographic accomplishments are found at this Web page on the site dedicated to him (and don’t forget to scroll down for more pictures!) : www.t-enami.org/services

For more of Enami’s SLIDES not seen here, go to this flickr set of his slides that were posted as odd lots mostly during 2008 : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/sets/72157604145302649/

Here’s a few nice ones down in New Zealand ! presbyterian.org.nz/archives/EnamiGallery/page1a.htm

Enami STEREOVIEWS : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/sets/72157613345072080/

When it came to the large albumen prints, Enami was not as skillful as his senior by many years, KIMBEI KUSAKABE. Then again, no Japanese photographer was ever as good as Kimbei when it came to the overall quality of his best albums and rich prints. Still, Enami gave it his best shot, and here are a few examples from some not-so-good-condition prints that I’ve stumbled across over the years…..

Enami albumen prints : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/sets/72157613313584687/

Now, back to this flickr “Birthday Bash” for old Enami…

Hope you enjoy the show !

PS. After posting this “Birthday Gallery”, I will go off and have a “party of one” in a pub somewhere—on a lost road in some dark corner of an old Pennsylvania town—and toast the old cameraman in his grave. His photos have really given me a lot of pleasure over the years.
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