Mizuho (Kuribayashi)

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Japanese Semi (4.5×6)
Prewar and wartime models (edit)
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Semi Elka | Semi Keef | Napoleon
Postwar models ->
Japanese SLR, TLR, pseudo TLR and stereo ->
Japanese 3×4, 4×4, 4×5, 4×6.5, 6×6 and 6×9 ->

This Mizuho is certainly unrelated to the postwar Mizuho cameras.

The Mizuho (ミズホ) is a Japanese 4.5×6 folder made by Kuribayashi at the beginning of the 1940s, about which very little is known. At the time, Kuribayashi was already making at least three distinct lines of 4.5×6 folders: the Semi First, the Baby Semi First and the Semi Rotte, each with a different body. It is not known if the Mizuho was related to one of these of if it was yet another model. (The same question arises about the Hokoku.)


The list of set prices compiled on October 25, 1940 and published in January 1941, mentions a "Mizuho Semi" (ミズホセミ) for ¥74, with no further detail.[1] A similar list dated November 1941 again mentions the camera and attributes it to Kuribayashi.[2]

The government inquiry listing Japanese camera production as of April 1943 mentions a Mizuho 4.5×6 folder as made and distributed by Kuribayashi.[3] The lens is a three-element Mizuho 75/4.5 lens made by Ogasawara (like the Hokoku lens of the Hokoku).[4] The shutter is a Mizuho (5–150, T, B) made by Kuribayashi itself and identical to the First I shutter.[5]

No surviving example of the Mizuho has been observed so far. However a Mizuho shutter (T, B, 1–300), has been observed with a Zeitax Anastigmat 7.5cm f/3.5 lens (no.13928), on a folding camera with dual finders, certainly a Zeitax.[6]


  1. "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 3, section 4A.
  2. "Kamera no kōtei kakaku kanpō happyō", November 1941, type 3, section 4A.
  3. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), item 68.
  4. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), lens item Lc15.
  5. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), shutter item 24-P-2.
  6. Example pictured in Fujishima, p.23 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.8.


  • Fujishima Kōichi (藤島広一). "Shattā ni yoru nendai shibetsu" (シャッターによる年代識別, Dating a camera from its shutter). Kamera Rebyū: Kurashikku Kamera Senka (カメラレビュー クラシックカメラ専科) / Camera Review: All about Historical Cameras no.8, September 1986. No ISBN number. Supuringu kamera (スプリングカメラ, special issue on spring cameras). Pp.21–4.
  • "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" (国産写真機ノ現状調査, Inquiry into Japanese cameras), listing Japanese camera production as of April 1943. Reproduced in Supuringu kamera de ikou: Zen 69 kishu no shōkai to tsukaikata (スプリングカメラでいこう: 全69機種の紹介と使い方, Let's try spring cameras: Presentation and use of 69 machines). Tokyo: Shashinkogyo Syuppan-sha, 2004. ISBN 4-87956-072-3. Pp.180–7. Item 68.
  • "Kamera no kōtei kakaku kanpō happyō" (カメラの公定価格官報発表, Official announcement of the set prices of the cameras), November 1941. Extract of a table listing Japanese camera production and setting the retail prices, reproduced in "Bebī Semi Fāsuto 'Kore ha bebī wo nanotta semi-ki da'" (ベビーセミファースト"これはベビーを名乗ったセミ機だ", Baby Semi First, 'this is a Semi camera called Baby'), an article by Furukawa Yasuo (古川保男) in Camera Collectors' News no. 277 (July 2000). Nishinomiya: Camera Collectors News-sha. P. 27. Type 3, section 4A.
  • "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku" (国産写真機の公定価格, Set prices of the Japanese cameras), listing Japanese camera production as of October 25, 1940 and setting the retail prices from December 10, 1940. Published in Asahi Camera January 1941 and reproduced in Shōwa 10—40nen kōkoku ni miru kokusan kamera no rekishi (昭和10〜40年広告にみる国産カメラの歴史, Japanese camera history as seen in advertisements, 1935—1965). Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1994. ISBN 4-02-330312-7. Pp.108—9. Type 3, section 4A.

This camera is not listed in Sugiyama nor in Kokusan kamera no rekishi.

Kuribayashi prewar and wartime cameras (edit)
rollfilm folders
Eagle | Speed Pocket | First Roll | First Center | Semi First | First Six | Baby Semi First | Semi Rotte | Hokoku | Mizuho
plate folders rigid SLR TLR unknown
Mikuni | First | First Etui | Kokka | Romax | Tokiwa Molby Speed Reflex First Reflex Baby First