We’re always trying to find some consistency in the dating of Yashica publications. If you are a collector of all things Yashica (and Yashima) you know the frustration of not knowing when a brochure or instruction booklet was printed. Dated advertisements are a good source for dates but the lead times are often anywhere from 1 to 3 months prior (or longer) to the published date of the magazine. Through research and in some cases just plain good luck, we’ve recently spotted a trend in the date codes that occasionally appear on publications from Yashica.
We are very lucky to have in our collection a complete set of matching books from Yashica in both English and Japanese. These books came with our TL ELECTRO-X ITS that was purchased in September 1973 in Okinawa. We also have the original sales receipt from that purchase as well. The two ITS instruction booklets (English & Japanese) have the following date codes… English version 730105 and 47.6.5 for the Japanese version. The two Yashinon Lenses & Accessories booklets have date codes… English version 730410 and 7301 05 3 for the Japanese version. It is interesting that one date is in the Showa format on the Japanese version of the ITS booklet and the other Japanese booklet uses a slightly different code with an extra space in it (7301 05 3). To convert the Showa date you simply add 25 to the year and that would make it 72.6.5. All the dates precede the sales receipt (SEP 1973) so that’s a good thing.
We recently acquired two new Yashica sales brochures printed in Japan in English. The cameras depicted in the brochures are from the early to mid 1960s and many of the cameras have known “release dates”. The brochures are fold outs and are almost exactly the same in layout and style (size too). The only difference is in the date codes. The 35mm brochure has 642-2-HY and the TLR brochure has 638-3-OM. Since we know the release dates on some of the cameras in the brochures, it makes it easy to cross reference the codes as being dates. So 642-2-HY is February 1964 and 638-3-OM is August 1963. Hope our theory holds up as more brochures are compared (it will as I’ve taken a quick peek at some of the late 1950s and early 1960s brochures).
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