Kimbei Kusakabe Biography

Kimbei Kusakabe




Kimbei Kusakabe (1841 — 1934) was a Japanese photographer, born in Kofu, Yamanshi Prefecture, Japan on November 3, 1841. He usually went by his given name, Kimbei, because his clientele, mostly non-Japanese-speaking foreign residents and visitors, found it easier to pronounce than his family name.

Kusakabe Kimbei worked with Felice Beato in Yokahama as an assistant photo colorist beween 1856 and 1863 and also Baron Raimund von Stillfried as a photographic colorist and assistant before opening his own workshop in Yokohama in 1881 in the Benten-dori quarter, and from 1889 operating in the Honmachi quarter. He also opened a branch in the Ginza quarter of Tokyo.

Around 1885, he acquired the negatives of Felice Beato and of Stillfried, as well as those of Uchida Kuichi. Kusakabe also acquired some of Ueno Hikoma's negatives of Nagasaki.

He stopped working as a photographer in 1912-1913. Most of his works were published in albums that are mounted in accordion fashion.

Kimbei Kusakabe died on November 11, 1934 in Japan at Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.