In the grips of bankruptcy, Yashica is forced to swallow a bitter pill – 1975

The early 1970s were not kind to Yashica. Accusations of embezzlement, mismanagement, inflated assets, and then the fuel crisis and economic downturn led Yashica to financial peril. By early 1975 Yashica was bankrupt and with the urging of the Japanese government (and creditor banks) Yashica fell into the reluctant lap of Kyocera.

Kyocera Corporation which was previously the Kyoto Ceramic Company was not a camera maker – the founder and president Mr. Kazuo Inamori was a brilliant engineer but again, not a camera manufacturer. In early 1975, Yashica made a desperate attempt to reach out directly to the market in the US.

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Mr. Shiro Kaneko was installed as the president of the Yashica Company (formerly of the trading company Nissho-Iwai) and decided to market Yashica products directly to camera dealers across the United States. He put Mr. Kenji Sakuma in charge of the US endeavor.

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Reading this page you realize how much clout these two companies had in Japan and you can guess that they had a ton of money invested in Yashica.

Yashica had been on a building spree in Japan opening a new, ultra-modern factory in Okaya, Nagano Prefecture in 1972 and building a new 6-story headquarters office complex in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo and moving in by the summer of 1974. Money was flowing out of Yashica like water through a cracked dam by this point.

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The new factory in Okaya in the summer of 1974. By the way, this location is still in operation and owned by Kyocera.

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Yashica’s new headquarters located at 6-27-8 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo as it looked in mid-1974. Check out the modern furniture (colorful too) and those displays with the new Contax line and a nice display rack loaded with brochures of the day.

The picture above is taken from a recently discovered booklet published by Yashica in early 1975. I don’t see Yashica’s name anywhere on the building (they did crop the picture quite a bit) but I see Honda’s name and logo on one of the doors.

Below is the Yashica building as it appears today (2018). It’s known as the Kyocera Harajuku Building and is located in Shibuya-ku on Meiji-dori Avenue in Tokyo.

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Current view of the original Yashica HQ building. Kyocera still has a presence in the building with mixed use shops occupying the ground floor. (Google Map Image)

Although Yashica continued to make cameras throughout the remainder of the decade they failed to truly innovate new designs and missed the boat on so many fronts while others (Canon, Nikon) forged ahead with large investments in exciting new cameras (Canon F-1, Canon AE-1, A-1) and new technologies. In my opinion, the build quality also suffered during this period and I personally do not collect the SLRs from this period.

The end is near. By October 1983, Yashica was fully merged with Kyocera. The once proud and independent company founded by Mr. Yoshimasa Ushiyama and his brother in 1949 was gone. I’m not 100% sure if this picture (below) is from April 1983 or from October 1983. It’s either the formal announcement by Yashica and Kyocera of the future merger or the actual merger “ceremony”.

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Mr. Ryozo Endo (left) president of Yashica and the president and founder of Kyocera Mr. Kazuo Inamori. A dark day but inevitable.

Yashica-Kyocera managed to occasionally market a few hits during the late 1980s and 1990s but by the mid-2000s Kyocera stopped making cameras and soon thereafter sold the name Yashica.

Kyocera has done quite well for itself under Mr. Inamori and today they still operate out of many of the former Yashica properties. The Yashica you hear about today is not associated with the original company and the recent Yashica DigiFilm camera was an interesting attempt to do something with the Yashica name.

Thanks so much for stopping by and if you made it to this point of the post give yourself a big pat on the back! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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FRIday Fun – Random Pics

There are so many details, both large and small that add a richness to living in a small town. A short walkabout is a photographer’s dream as all of these images were captured within a few blocks of one another.

Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

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Fernandina Beach can be found in the extreme northeast corner of Florida – it’s located on the first barrier island (Amelia Island) along Florida’s east coast just across the border from St. Marys, Georgia.

It’s certainly worth a visit – there’s nowhere else in Florida like it and we’ve got 13 miles of beautiful unspoiled sandy beaches too!

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Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

BTW, I’ve got some interesting new items in my camera shop which can be found at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

1943 Willys Jeep – 1950s Hotchkiss M201

This beautifully restored Jeep from World War II is on display at the Fernandina Beach airport terminal lobby. (Amelia Island, Florida)

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Wonderful attention to detail throughout – a stunning vehicle and a part of US-French history.

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Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Jacksonville’s Airport – 1947

I believe this image is from around 1947 – I’m not positive about the exact date but there are many signs that it’s at least the late 1940s. Eastern Air Lines operated DC-3’s until about 1953.

This picture was taken at a local Jacksonville hotel which had on display a series of historical photos of J’ville back in the day. The image is of an Eastern DC-3 parked on the ramp in front of the Imeson Control Tower at the Jacksonville Imeson Airport.

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This colorized postcard was made from that image and was a well-known postcard of the day depicting Jacksonville. I believe the title on the card is wrong as the airport was not known as the Jacksonville Municipal Airport post World War II.

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Make note of the Sailor walking towards the building (lower left) – a common site around the airport as Jacksonville is a “Navy Town”.

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to stop by my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – Chris

Small Town America – Fernandina Beach

Classic small-town image – Peck High School completed in 1927. It was the only school on Amelia Island, Florida that taught grades 1-12 to African-American students. The good city of Fernandina Beach still uses this building and it is kept in excellent condition. It made for a beautiful picture today on this lovely warm Winter’s day.

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Celebrating Black History Month here on Amelia Island.

Thanks for stopping by!

Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2018 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

People that knew my mom… 1939

An unusual topic, but since I had recently scanned these images from one of my mom’s photo albums I felt I should do something with them. I can’t bring myself to simply just throw pictures away – as a photographer it doesn’t seem right. But why was I using up valuable(?) storage space on my PC for strangers? Well for one they did know my mom and were her friends and were important in her life. So, why not share them with you all – like facebook only the 1939 version.

What strikes me the most is just how similar these images are from 78 years ago to the images you see posted on social media today. Young 20-somethings goofing around in front of a camera and having fun together. Photography is a universal language that we all speak and understand and the people captured in the images “live” forever on film and in our minds.

All images are taken in and around New York City – except for a few, my mom was the photographer and shooting with her Kodak.

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One of my favorites… she looks just so bored!

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My mom and her best friend (my mom on right). I just love this image!

 

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My mom second from left.

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5th Avenue Fashionistas! My mom is the lovely lady on the far right!

Thanks for stopping by!

Chris