Nippon Kōki

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The companies treated below are called either "Nippon Kōki" or "Nihon Kōki" (Nippon and Nihon are alternate readings for the same word, meaning Japan). There are hints that the former name was preferred, at least at some periods.

Contents

Prewar and wartime company

Nippon Kōki K.K. (日本光機㈱, meaning Japan Optics Co., Ltd.) was a Japanese camera maker in the late 1930s and early 1940s. From 1939 it made the Well Standard and Well Super cameras distributed by Misuzu Shōkai. Its address in 1943 was Yodobashi-ku Higashi-Ōkubo (東京都淀橋区東大久保2–306) in Tokyo.[1]

Another company called Nippon Kōki (日本光器, written with different characters), making lenses and filters, was reportedly founded in July 1938 as part of the Riken Konzern (group of companies linked to the Riken Institute).[2]

Postwar company

In 1949, a company called Nippon Kōki Kōgyō K.K. (日本光機工業㈱) advertised the Semi Sport camera and the Lucky enlarger, two products that were made before 1945 by Fujimoto. The address of the company was Minami-ku Junkei 2-chōme (大阪市南区順慶二丁目) in Osaka.[3] It is not known if it was related to the previous Nippon Kōki.

This company was later simply called Nippon Kōki K.K. (日本光機㈱) and released the Silverflex and Silver Six cameras in 1953 and 1954. It retained the same address in Osaka, Junkei and had subsidiary plants in Osaka, Imazato (大阪・今里) and Tokyo, Setagaya (東京・世田ヶ谷).[4] It is said that it made a series of enlargers called Lucky Silver before making the cameras.[5] At the time, the company used the Roman name "Nippon Koki", visible on the back of the Silver Six and Calm Six.

In 1955, the company made the Calm Six. At that date, its address was Setagaya-ku Daita (世田ヶ谷区代田) 1–748 in Tokyo,[6] presumably because it moved to its Setagaya plant. It is said that it went bankrupt in July, 1957.[7]

Other companies with a similar name exist today (2009). They are probably not related to the above companies. For example Nippon Kōki Kōgyō K.K. (日本光機工業㈱), based in Kawasaki, makes parts for lighthouses since 1919,[8] and K.K. Nihon Kōki Seisakusho (㈱日本光器製作所, abbreviated as Nikko) makes eyeglasses and safety glasses.[9]

Camera list

Prewar and wartime:

Postwar:

Notes

  1. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras").
  2. Chronology of the Riken Konzern.
  3. Advertisement dated September 1949 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.143.
  4. Advertisements dated 1953 and 1954 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.140.
  5. Lewis, p.82.
  6. Advertisement dated August 1955 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.131.
  7. Lewis, p.104.
  8. Official website of Nippon Kōki Kōgyō.
  9. Official website of Nihon Kōki Seisakusho.

Bibliography

Links

In Japanese:

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