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
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1042 Musicians
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1045 Learning to Play Shamishen
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1054 [Lady Sitting]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1057 [Woman Sitting]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1060 Konkonchiki
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1062 [Three Girls Wearing Kimonos]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1066 [Girl Sitting]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1081 [Barber]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1082 Barber
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1100 Native Horse Boy
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1185 [Selling Vegetables]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1198 [Tattoed Man]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1239 [Six Girls Dancing]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1302 Fish Monger
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1307 [Playing Samisen]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1311 [Two People, One Sitting]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1312 [Four Girls Dancing]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1313 [Kendo]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1321 [ Daimyo?]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1322 [Two Girls]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1328 [Learning Koto]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1332 [Young Japanese Ladies, One with Bowler Hat]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1334 [Young Man Sitting in Studio]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1336 [Family]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1339 [Musical Party]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1341 [Three Girls Dancing]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1341 Theater
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1341 Three Girls
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1342 [Five Geisha]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1343 [Daimyo]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1349 [Playing Go]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1352 Sumotori and Umpire
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1357 Two Girls
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1361 Girl with Baby
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1362 Geisha with Shamisen
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1365 [Oji]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1371 Winter Costume
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1375 [Cooking]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1376 Out for a Walk
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1380 [Lady Dressing Hair]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1383 Pipe Maker
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1384 [Making Geta] (see Fig. 45)
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1387 [Woman with Mirror]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1392 [Lady with Koto]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1395 [Cloth Merchant]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1398 [Tattoed Betto]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1417 [Actors?]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1506 [Newspaper Vendor]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1510 [Making Geta]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1513 [Woman Seated with Samisen]
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