Hiroshi Hamaya (1915 - 1999):
Born in Tokyo, Hamaya taught himself photography at age 15. In 1933 he joined Oriental Photographic Industries primarily photographing trains and taking aerial views. From 1937 to 1945 he was a freelancer based in Tokyo and it was during this period in 1939 when Hamaya met ethnologist Keizo Shibusawa who strongly influenced him. This led to Hamaya’s interest in traditional rituals, agricultural life and daily life in Japan. In 1940 he began work on his Yukiguni (Snow Land) series in Niigata prefecture and from 1945 to 1952 he based himself out of Takada, Niigata Prefecture. In 1954 he began work on his Ura Nihon (Japan’s Back Coast) series. In 1955 Hamaya caught the attention of Edward Steichen who included him in the Family of Man exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1960 Hamaya became the first Asian photographer to join the photo cooperative Magnum. It was during the early 1960s when he covered the demonstrations and riots against the US-Japan Security Treaty which caused him to take on an an anti government view. This outlook caused Hamaya to return to aerial photography, landscapes and nature photography in both Japan and abroad. In 1986 Hamaya was honored with a Master of Photography Award from the International Center of Photography in New York. During his long career Hamaya published numerous books and held several major exhibitions, capping his life work with a sixty year retrospective of his work at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in 1997. That same year Hamaya was also awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in 1997.
Image: heeling prayers at Imagami Onsen, Tozawa Village, Yamagata Pref.
Item #: SD-003
Artist: Hiroshi Hamaya
Date: 1964
Price: inquire
Description: vintage gelatin silver print.
Image: rice farmer in rain.
Item #: SD-214
Artist: Hiroshi Hamaya
Date: mid 1950s
Price: inquire
Description: near vintage gelatin silver print printed in 1966, artist's wetstamp on reverse.
Image: Landscapes of Japan book.
Item #: SD-005
Artist: Hiroshi Hamaya
Date: 1964
Price: 15,000 JY
Description: 1st edition, Heibonsha, 1964.