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
UNIDENTIFIED NUMBER GROUPS U26 [Girl facing left with umbrella & baby] (B) THE LETTERS GROUP
UNIDENTIFIED NUMBER GROUPS U51 View of Tokio (B) THE LETTERS GROUP
UNIDENTIFIED NUMBER GROUPS U58 Marunouchi, Tokio (B) THE LETTERS GROUP
UNIDENTIFIED NUMBER GROUPS U77 Japanese Fisher-Mens (B) THE LETTERS GROUP
UNIDENTIFIED NUMBER GROUPS V32 Kyobashi Tokyo (B) THE LETTERS GROUP
UNIDENTIFIED NUMBER GROUPS V55 Singing Girls (B) THE LETTERS GROUP
UNIDENTIFIED NUMBER GROUPS W89 Japanese Lady (B) THE LETTERS GROUP
UNIDENTIFIED NUMBER GROUPS X6 Yokohama Park (B) THE LETTERS GROUP
UNIDENTIFIED NUMBER GROUPS X8 Yokohama Park (B) THE LETTERS GROUP
UNIDENTIFIED NUMBER GROUPS X26 Bentendori, Yokohama (B) THE LETTERS GROUP
UNIDENTIFIED NUMBER GROUPS X38 4th July Yokohama (grand Hotel) (B) THE LETTERS GROUP
UNIDENTIFIED NUMBER GROUPS X75 Asakusa Park at Tokyo (B) THE LETTERS GROUP
UNIDENTIFIED NUMBER GROUPS Y30 Tea House of Oswa Park (B) THE LETTERS GROUP
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 1 Red Lacquered Bridge Nikko
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 2 Red Lacquered Bridge Nikko
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 2 Nikko
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 3 Nikko
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 6 Buddhist Priest
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 6 Nikko
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 7 Lake Chiusenji Nikko
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 13 Or 18. [Two Men Drinking Sake]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 13 Nikko
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 14 [Buddhist Temple Yomeimon, Nikko]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 16 [Three Geisha]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 17 [Yomeimon]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 17 Nikko
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 18 Or 13. [Two Men Drinking Sake]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 18 Nikko
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 19 [Taking Boat]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 20 Nikko
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 23 Exterior of the Nikko Temple
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 24 Nikko
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 28 [Picnic Party on Boat]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 33 [Ferry Boat]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 34 [Ryugu No Taki, Nikko]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 35 Waterfall Nikko
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 36 Nikko Lake
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 37 Kioto
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 37 [Two Geisha]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 38 Chiuzenji
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 45 Chiuzenji
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 45 Nikko
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 46 [Fujisan with Clouds]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 46 Kiga
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 49 [Honmachi Yokohama]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 51 [Mountain Pass to Kanazawa]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 51 Kago
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 51 Urami Waterfall near Nikko
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 52 [Measuring Kimono]
USUI Shusaburo (Studio) 57 Minoo Near Kobe
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