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The Japanese company that would become Taron was founded as Nippon Kōsokki Seisakusho(日本光測機製作所) and was based in Tokyo, Omori.[1] The founder was YANAGIHARA Tasaburo (柳原多三郎).[2] The company began as the manufacturer of NKS shutters. These shutters were used in the 1940-42 Mamiya Six series. Its first camera, the Taroflex 6×6cm TLR, dates from 1943.

After the war, Tasaburo founded Yanagihara Seisakusyo (柳原製作所) in 1949[3], the company reorganized as Nippon Kōsokki Kōgyō K.K. (日本光測機工業㈱) or Nihon Kōsokki Company Limited in 1953. The president changed to YANAGIHARA Toshi (柳原とし), who may be the wife of Tasaburo's son, YANAGIHARA Kazuo (柳原和夫) or daughter of Tasaburo. During postwar reconstruction, it survived by making NKS shutters for other camera makers such as Fujica, Tokyo Kogaku Kikai (Topcon), Tougo-Do and Yashima Kogaku Seiki. The 1953 Silver Six folder and Silverflex TLR cameras used NKS shutters and were made by the similarly named Nihon Kōki K.K.

Starting in 1955, Nihon Kōsokki began making its own Taron line of 35mm rangefinder cameras. It was still based in Tokyo, Omori.[4] The company was renamed K.K. Taron (㈱タロン) after its own products in 1959.[5] The company disappeared in the latter half of the 1960's.

Taron sold its all stocks to Sony in 1972. Toshi founded Yanagihara Shoji (柳原商事), real estate business and printing company.[6]

Yanagihara Shoji (柳原商事) reorganized Yanagigara kōporeishon (柳原コーポレーション), still working real estate business in 2017. [7]

Camera list

126 film

35mm half-frame

35mm viewfinder

35mm rangefinder

6×6 TLR


  • Roico Anastigmat 60mm f/3.5, three elements, on the Roico[8]

Nihon Kōsokki shutters used in other cameras

  • Wartime NKS and NKS-Tokio 1/200s in 1940 Mamiya Six (first model) to 1942 Mamiya Six (third model).
  • NKS 1/200s in 1948 Fujica Six, 1950 Proud 50 (Sumida K.K.), 1951 Shinkoh Rabbit (Tougo-Do), 1951-52 Atom Six (Atom K.S.) and 1952-55 Mihama Six (Suruga Seiki) folding bed cameras.
  • NKS, NKS-SC and NKS-TB 1/200s in 1950 Primoflex I/IA (Tokyo K.K.), 1952 Rolex (Toyo S.K.), 1953 Hobiflex (Tougo-Do), 1954 Pigeonflex (Yashima K.S.)and rebranded TLR variants.
  • NKS-FB 1/300s in 1954 Beautyflex S and IIIS (Taiyo-Do K.K.), 1955 Mihama Six S (Suruga)
  • New NKS-Tokio and New Tokio II, in the Semi Leotax[9]


  1. Its address in 1943 was Tōkyō-to Ōmori-ku Ōmori 4–51 (東京都大森区大森4–51). Source: "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), listing the Japanese camera production as of April 1943.
  2. 広島写真美術協会 菅原コレクション (archived)
  3. From history of the Yanagigara kōporeishon (柳原コーポレーション)
  4. Its address from 1955 to 1962 was Tōkyō-to Ōta-ku Ōmori 4–45 (東京都大田区大森4–45). Source: advertisements dated 1955 to 1962 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.147 and 253–5.
  5. Advertisement dated May 1959 with Nippon Kōsokki and advertisement dated November 1959 with Taron, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.254.
  6. From history of the Yanagigara kōporeishon (柳原コーポレーション)
  7. From history of the Yanagigara kōporeishon (柳原コーポレーション)
  8. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), lens item K7.
  9. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), shutter items 18-P-8 (New Tokio) and 18-P-24 (New Tokio with self-timer). The attribution of the New Tokio II is extremely probable.



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