Ogawa Kazumasa

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Ogawa Kazumasa (September 29, 1860 - September 7, 1929), also known as Ogawa Kazuma or Ogawa Isshin, was a Japanese photographer, printer and publisher who was a pioneer in photomechanical printing and photography in the Meiji era. Ogawa had a strong interest in English, and was first introduced to photography around age 13 through his English tutor, a British missionary. Around the same time he also had a chance to visit the studio of Uchida Kuichi, then the premier photographer in Tokyo, which further piqued his interest. Ogawa became familiar with the wet collodion negative process while serving as an apprentice to the photographer Yoshiwara Hideo for six months during the mid-1870s. In 1877, just seventeen years old, he opened his first photography studio in Gunma Prefecture with a second-hand quarter-plate camera that he used to take carte-de-visite portraits. Despite the limited availability of quality photographic chemicals and supplies, it appears that this studio was quite successful. However, Ogawa closed it in 1880 and resolved to go abroad to further his photographic knowledge [1].