Old Asia Photography

Japanese Numbers List

​Souvenir Albums - Numbers List and Attribution Issues​

​Throughout the whole of the Meiji period and beyond, many studios in Japan issued souvenir albums of photographs. Unfortunately, many of these albums did not indicate the name of the studio. It was, therefore, difficult to attribute authorship of the images to either a particular studio or photographer. However, the vast majority of the photographs displayed descriptive captions and numbers on the face of the prints. A small percentage of the albums did indicate the studio - with a title page or the name and address wet-stamped onto the back of the front cover. Starting in the early 1980s, I began to record the captions and numbers of those photographs contained in albums whose studios were identified. I also started to document those albums which were not identified. In those days Japanese souvenir albums were relatively common. Within a few years, I was able to list photographs appearing in several hundreds of albums. Number patterns quickly emerged, and I was able to identify an increasing number of studios. I published the results in my 1996 book Early Japanese Images where some 1,200 photographs were matched with their studios. In 2006 I published an expanded list of 4,000 in Old Japanese Photographs: Collectors’ Data Guide. If you are interested in that list you can CLICK HERE to download the full PDF. These have been further supplemented below. However, many gaps remain and a few studios are yet to be identified. In producing the list below, I would like to encourage anyone with numbers which do not appear to send in a copy so that they may be added. This would help collectors, researchers and photo-historians.
Studio Number Description Comments
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1516 Green Grocer
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1517 Girls Playing Koto and Samisen
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1518 Wind Costume (Jdaige)
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1521 Girls for Cooling at Kamogawa,Kioto
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1521 Japanes Marriege
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1523 Washing Her Hand
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1524 Preparing Rice Ground
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1525 Planting Rice
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1527 Basket Seller
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1528 Sleeping Girls
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1531 Dancing
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1538 Tea House Garden
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1542 Visiting Ceremoney
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1545 Playing Koto
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1550 Rice Cart
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1552 At Toilet
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1555 Walking in the Gueta
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1556 Wind Costume
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1557 Dressing
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1558 Nikko Garden
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1559 Dressing at Looking Glass
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1561 Inos
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1572 Writing Letter
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1575 Drawing Water from the Well
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1576 Amma (Shampoorer)
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1580 Snow Costume
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1582 Dancing
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1583 Pilgrims
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1591 Priest
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1593 Shinto Priest
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1596 Japanese Beauty
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1597 A Lady in the Room
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1598 Playing at Draughts
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1600 Tea House Girl
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1602 Planing, Samisen, Tsuzumi and Taico
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1603 Making Threads
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1605 Toy Shop
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1606 Playing at Ball
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1607 Amazake Seller
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1608 Dancing and Music
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1610 Cart
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1611 Visiting Ceremony at Ozashiki (Parlor)
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1612 Parlor
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1612 Cultivating Fields
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1614 Ozashiki (Parlor)
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1617 Group of Buddhist Priests
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1621 Dancing
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1623 Kago
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1623 Sewing Ironing
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1624 Miko or Performer in a Dancing at Nara
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