Imagining a Tokyo camera store window display in Akihabara or Shinjuku or Shibuya (our favorite spots in Tokyo) during the late summer of 1964. The searing heat and oppressive humidity of the Kanto Plain is starting to wane… at least a bit. Soon the Tokyo Summer Olympics will begin and on the first of October the Tokaido Shinkansen will make its inaugural run from Tokyo to points south. Yashica releases their newest 35mm single-lens reflex camera in time for both events. In just under a generation, less time than anyone could have imagined, Japan was hosting the first Olympics to be held on Asian soil. From the ruins of the Great Pacific War, and with guidance from the United States and others, Japan has turned its economy from near the brink of elimination to being world leaders in electronic technologies and precision equipment… cameras and high speed “bullet trains”… and on the horizon, world class automobiles that were small, inexpensive and fuel efficient.
The Yashica J-5 was another big step for a small manufacturing company that started out making simple but well built twin-lens reflex cameras in a little town along the shores of Lake Suwa, Nagano Prefecture.