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) 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
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1626 Temple Dancing at Nara
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1627 Washing Her Hand
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1628 Tea Gathering
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1629 Country Children
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1631 Jinrikisha
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1633 Carrying Children
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1634 Girls in Snow Costume
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1637 Pack Horse on The Country
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1637 Stripping off Grains
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1641 Girls Back Style
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1642 Dancing and Playing Music
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1645 Playing Childs
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1649 Girls Playing Samisen and Fuye
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1650 Girls at Home
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1653 Toilet
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1660 Girl Holding Umbrella
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1665 Walking Garden
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1668 Pack Horse on the Country
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1672 Dancing Party
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1675 Agrobatic Performers
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1682 Reading Letter
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1683 Shells Work Selling Store
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1684 Street Singer
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1700 Inos
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1701 Silk Butterfly
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1705 Feeding Silk Worms
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1707 Taking Threac from Cocoon
ESAKI Reiji (Studio) 1720 Porcelain Store
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