Kashiwa

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Kashiwa Seikō (柏精工, meaning Kashiwa Precision Industries), was a Japanese camera maker. It was based in the city of Kashiwa (Chiba Prefecture), hence its name.[1]

The first camera made by the company was the Motoca 35, a viewfinder-only Leica copy with an unusual sector shutter, assembled in very small quantities in 1948–9. In Summer 1949, Kashiwa announced the Blondy, an advanced 17.5mm subminiature which was perhaps never sold, and the Cooky 35, a compact 35mm camera which was advertised until 1950. The company was using the name KASHIWASEIKO or KASHIWASEIKO CO. in a single word for the camera markings.

A name variant of the Cooky 35 appeared under the name Robin 35, with an engraving Hokuto Co. under the camera name. This company Hokuto Co. (perhaps 北斗, meaning Big Dipper)[2] was probably the successor of Kashiwa, but nothing is yet clearly known. The Robin 35 evolved as the Robin 35 MII, with HOKUTO CO. and H.K.T. markings (presumably for Hokuto).

Notes

  1. The advertisement in Kohga Gekkan February 1949 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.201, gives an address in Kashiwa, which is partly illegible.
  2. The "Hokuto" company was definitely not named after the city of Hokuto (北杜市) in the Prefecture of Yamanashi, whose name was forged when it was created in 2004 (see this page of the Japanese Wikipedia). It was certainly not named after the city of Hokuto (北斗市) in the Prefecture of Hokkaidō, which was created in 2006 (see this page of the Japanese Wikipedia).

Bibliography

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