Some sources suggest that the Sakura Honor was inspired by contemporary Newman & Guardia models such as the Universal Pattern B. However this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha points to "Hoffman's detective cameras", which were imported by Konishi, and of which the Sakura Honor seems to be a direct copy. (These perhaps correspond to the products of the Belgian manufacturer Hofmans.)
Some people also question the origin of the Sakura Honor and suggest that it was actually a rebadged imported camera. However the same doubts expressed about the Sakura Reflex Prano and Sakura Palace are seemingly contradicted by original documents (see the corresponding pages).
Description of the body
The Sakura Honor is said to exist in tefuda (8×10.5cm), nimaigake (8×12cm) and kabine (12×16.5cm) formats. The only known illustration shows a box-shaped camera, focused by sliding the front part in and out. The lens is recessed inside the front part and covered by a flap hinged at the top. There are two brilliant finders buried inside the front part at the photographer's left, one at the top for vertical pictures, and the other on the side for horizontal pictures. The rear part has a handle at the top. It is said that a light-tight changing bag is attached to the back of the camera, containing twelve film plates and allowing to reload the camera in daylight.
Lens options, price
It is said that the lenses offered for the Sakura Honor were the Carl Zeiss Double Protar Ser.VIIa and Goerz Dagor Ser.III. One source says that the body only was sold for ¥55 in nimaigake-size, and for ¥65 in kabine-size.
No surviving example of the Sakura Honor is known. However two comparable detective cameras made by Konishi Honten are pictured in this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha. It is not known if these were made before or after the Sakura Honor.
- The Roman name "Honor" is inferred from the katakana オナー, but it is not confirmed. Lewis, pp.19–20, uses the spelling "Owner" instead, but "Honor" or "Honour" seems more plausible in view of other names used by Konishi at the time, such as "Palace", "Champion", "Army" or "Navy". The phrase tesage anbako (手提暗函) is rendered as "Hand Camera" in the Konishi catalogue dated December 1911. In modern sources, it is often translated as "Portable Camera", and the camera is called "Sakura Owner Portable" in Lewis, pp.19–20. The Japanese word anbako literally means "dark box"; it was modeled after "camera obscura" and was used for cameras until around the 1910s.
- Lewis, p.19, and chronology from the official company history Shashin to tomo ni hyaku-nen, reproduced in Tanaka, p.94 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10. The date is simply given as 1907 in the chronology at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha.
- Lewis, p.19, Sakai, p.19 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
- Lewis, p.20: the Sakura Honor (called "Sakura Owner Portable") "so closely resembled the Western originals there is some question whether they were really Japanese copies, or whether they were imported cameras sold under the Sakura name". The same is said of the Sakura Reflex Prano, Sakura Palace and Midg.
- Sakai, p.18 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10, and this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha. (Many sources say that nimaigake corresponds to 4×5in, but the actual measurements given in this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha do not confirm this.) The tefuda model is not mentioned in Lewis, p.19, or in the official chronology from the official company history Shashin to tomo ni hyaku-nen, reproduced in Tanaka, p.94 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
- Illustration reproduced in Lewis, p.19, in Sakai, p.18 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10, in this page of the Center of the History of Japanese Industrial Technology, and in this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha.
- Sakai, p.19 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10, mentions twelve film plates in a "manual changing box" (手送りチェンジングボックス). Lewis, p.19, mentions a "light-tight bag attached to the camera body".
- Sakai, p.19 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10, and this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha.
- See this page and this page of the Center of the History of Japanese Industrial Technology.
- Lewis, Gordon, ed. The History of the Japanese Camera. Rochester, N.Y.: George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography & Film, 1991. ISBN 0-935398-17-1 (paper), 0-935398-16-3 (hard). Pp.19–20.
- Sakai Shūichi (酒井修一). "Konica history 2. Meiji 36-nen – 40-nen." (Konica history 2. 明治36年–40年. From Meiji year 36 (1903) to Meiji year 40 (1907).). 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.10, September 1987. No ISBN number. Konishiroku kamera no rekishi (小西六カメラの歴史, special issue on Konishiroku). Pp.16–23.
- Tanaka Yoshirō (田中芳郎). "Meiji–Taishō jidai no Konishi Honten no kamera wo shiru tame no hon" (明治・大正時代の小西本店のカメラを知るための本, Books about the Konishi Honten cameras of the Meiji and Taishō eras). 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.10, September 1987. No ISBN number. Konishiroku kamera no rekishi (小西六カメラの歴史, special issue on Konishiroku). Pp.92–4.
- Sakura Honor (nimaigake) and Sakura Honor (kabine) in the Camera database of the Center of the History of Japanese Industrial Technology (the illustration is the same in the two pages)
- Pages of the R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha website:
|Konishiroku prewar and wartime cameras ( )|
|plate||hand cameras||stereo hand cameras||strut folders||box||telephoto||SLR|
|Idea (original) | Idea A | Idea B | Idea Snap | Idea No.1 | Idea (metal) | Lily (original) | Lily (horizontal) | Lily (metal) | Tropical Lily | Noble | Ohca | Sakura Palace | Sakura Pocket Prano | Sakura Prano||Idea Binocular | Sakura Binocular Prano||Minimum Idea | Idea Spring | Korok||Champion | Cherry | Sakura Army | Sakura Honor | Sakura Navy||Idea Telephoto||Idea Reflex (1910 and 1911) | Idea Reflex (1932) | Neat Reflex | Sakura Reflex Prano|
|rollfilm||folders||box or collapsible||TLR|
|Pearlette | Special Pearlette | B Pearlette | Pearl (for plates and rollfilm) | Pearl No.2 | Pearl (Year 8) | Baby Pearl | Semi Pearl | Sakura Palace||Record | Sakura (box) | Sakura (bakelite)||Sakura-flex|