“Ghost” Carol – 1978

Playing with my Canon F-1 (1978 Version) in our backyard in Yokohama, Japan 1978.

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The marks are on the dry mounted original print. Copied under studio lighting with my Fujifilm FinePix S9900. No cropping from the original.

By the way, all pretty “ghosts” smile. ^.^

Chris

Our Cat – ‘Avon’ 1977

One of the last good images I was able to take of our cat Avon enjoying some warm sunshine by our front door. He was a found kitten, starving but friendly (aren’t all hungry kitties friendly?). He was found along Carol’s Avon cosmetics route in Pensacola, Florida back in 1975. A Tom Cat with a silly name but it fit him. He ran off from our new house in Yokohama, Japan and he either lost his way or was taken in. I don’t think of the other possibilities.

Original image taken with my Yashica TL Electro-X on Kodak Ektachrome 64 color slide film and the matte finish print of the transparency was dry mounted. The scan is of the print (flaws and all) with my Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II scanner.

Say hello to Avon.

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Full uncropped image taken with my Fujifilm FinePix S9900 under studio lighting vice a scan. The marks are on the print. I like his tone and tint better here (below).

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Thanks for the visit!

Chris and Carol

Yashica Moves to a New Factory 1972

We’ll be the first to admit – not an exciting title or topic for a blog. It may even be a stretch for a blog named the ‘Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic’. But we feel compelled to share information about the Yashica Company, however slight and trivial, with our dear readers.

Yashica’s first factory was along the shores of beautiful Lake Suwa in the small town of Suwa. The next location (from Yashica brochures) was in Shimosuwa-machi, Suwa-gun, Nagano Prefecture. This was the industrial campus of Yashica and it grew over the years to occupy almost every square meter of the property.

Yashica's Shimosuwa Factory

Opened in 1956 along the shores of Lake Suwa in Nagano.

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A different view of the same campus. Yashica was running out of room by the mid-1960s.

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Back cover of the Yashica TL Electro-X ITS instruction booklet. The booklet was printed in Japan in June 1972.

At the time of the printing of the above book, Yashica was operating 3 factories. The top line that begins with the Yashica ‘Y’ on the far left is the address of the main headquarters of Yashica which was in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. The next line is the location of the Suwa plant – Shimosuwa. The third line is the new plant in Okaya which was still in Nagano Prefecture. The 4th line was an unknown (to us until recently) factory in Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture (southwest of Tokyo and just west of Yokohama). As you can see, Yashica operated at least 14 other sales offices and service centers across Japan in mid-1972.

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Back cover of the Yashinon Lenses & Accessories booklet printed in Japan in January 1973.

Between June 1972 (the first book above) and January 1973 (the second book above), Yashica closed its campus and factory in Shimosuwa. The only factories listed are the new Okaya factory and the Sagamihara factory. That was a big move for Yashica and as we understand it, they had purchased the old silk mill in Okaya as far back as 1959. As of this book, Yashica did not close any of its other sales offices listed from the previous book.

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The factory was officially dedicated in December 1972. According to Yashica documents, the factory didn’t achieve full production until late 1974 or early 1975.

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The Yashica Okaya factory complex in the summer of 1974.

Why is any of this important? It isn’t unless you’re a Yashica Fanatic like us. Oh, it did have a strong ripple effect on the company though. Japan was in a bit of an economic slowdown in the early 1970s and it came to a head in late 1974 for Yashica. Mismanagement and embezzlement (and the costly move) caused Yashica to lay off workers – unheard of in Japan at the time. They closed the Sagamihara factory which put 900 Yashica employees out of work. That had an effect on the factory at Okaya and Yashica was soon in deep financial trouble. Their cameras were still top notch but the first warning shots about their future were fired.

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It is my understanding that Mr. Shiro Kaneko was installed as the new president of Yashica by the Nissho-Iwai Company (Yashica’s distributor) and by the Taiyo Kobe Bank which by 1974 had put its full financial resources behind Yashica’s new marketing efforts.

Thanks for your visit! Hope you got a little something out of it. –¬†Chris

 

Springtime in Naka-ku, Yokohama

Remembering back to our time living in Japan in the late 1970s. We lived in a small area of southern Yokohama near Sankei-en (gardens). The Naka Ward was home to a large US Navy family housing area and the ever popular Navy Exchange and Commissary. Avenue D, pictured below, was the main highway from Yokohama to the Navy base at Yokosuka. In our part of the housing area, these Sakura (below) had been planted as a joint project with the military families and the local community. After the long and dreary winter we looked forward to the blossoms and warmth that signaled Spring.

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Sakura along Avenue D in the Naka Ward. Base housing to the left.

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Sankei-en in Spring. A short bicycle ride from our home so we visited often.

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Carol spending her 100 yen wisely on a visit to Sankei-en.

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More views in Sankei-en.

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Photography blossoms in the Spring.

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We were lucky to live in such a nice area of Yokohama – everything was a short bike ride away. Spring was way too short and the Summers on the Kanto Plain were way too long!

Thanks for your visit! Enjoy your Spring!

Camera: Canon F-1

Film: Kodak Kodachrome 25

Chris

Canon AZ 1014 Super 8 Movie Camera… 1977

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Purchased new by us in 1977… wow, 40 years ago! It’s still going strong – the automatic exposure is accurate, the Canon electronic zoom lens is flawless, and all controls and gizmos are doing their things. Why? Well number one is it was designed and built super well and it uses readily available double A (AA ‘penlight’) batteries. No out of manufacture mercury batteries and their modern replacements to deal with! Thank you Canon!

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The business side of this gem. It’s a TTL Servo EE electronic exposure system using still available Super 8 film. It operates like an SLR in the sense that you focus and adjust zoom and exposure through the lens. Canon’s 7-70mm f/ 1.4 Macro Zoom (10x) Lens C-8 is razor sharp and produces vivid colors and delivers exceptional contrast.

Macro capabilities are incredible – as close as 10mm from the front of the lens! Slow motion, fades, interval shooting and time lapse plus the ability to manually control the aperture!

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The camera loaded with a Super 8 cartridge and the six AA batteries weighs in at nearly 2 kg! I can tell you that lugging it through Walt Disney World was no picnic… but fun!

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Carol exploring her plants via the Canon AZ 1014. This is so 1977! Our home in Yokohama.

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The photographer observed! The young lad was friendly and couldn’t figure out what in the world I was filming! Olongapo City, Philippines 1978.

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Bug hunting in Yokohama… 1978.

Playing with the camera again makes me want to start filming again… well maybe not. 50 feet of Super 8 movie film disappears quickly and so does the money in your wallet. The camera is amazing but outdated – but, for the money, you can’t beat the quality of the Canon optics that cost thousands today.

Carol and I have so many cameras that we can’t ever use them all before we pass on. So we are documenting our cameras just before they go to auction via eBay and Etsy. So sad but the time’s come to thin out the heard.

Photographed with our Fujifilm FinePix S9900. Carol (photo by me) with my Canon F-1 and me (photo by Jim) was taken with some junky old Nikon! Can you imagine!

Thanks for your visit!

Chris ^.^

Sankei-en… Yokohama’s Beautiful Gem

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Escape the hustle of the big city – Sankei-en is Yokohama’s beautiful gem.

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Soon the sakura and azalea will bloom. Photographers will come. School children and couples. Families love Sankei-en.

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It was a pleasant ride to Sankei-en from our house so we went often.

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Admission – 100 yen. All smiles.

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Sakura from long ago. Avenue D in Naka-ku, Honmoku. 1979

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Spring returns to Sankei-en soon. The blossoms will be everywhere. Come to this spot and enjoy!

Images from 1978 and 1979. Canon F-1 and Canon AE-1. Kodak Kodachrome film.

Thank you for your visit.

Chris & Carol ^.^

Yokosuka and Yokohama

Memories of our time in Japan – 1977 to 1980. We lived in Yokohama, Naka-ku. Lovely place. Wonderful people. Every day an adventure. As I read current blogs from Japan, it strikes me that so many signs are now in English. Back in the day (as they say) that wasn’t the case. These two signs were within walking distance of major U.S. Navy installations. No English. No problem. I’m sorry to say that we never learned to read kanji or katakana but we at least learned what the kanji characters looked like for where we wanted to be.

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Yokosuka train station, Keihin Kyuko Line schedule heading north to Yokohama.

I always tried for the “green” trains at 15, 35 and 55 after the hour. These were the fastest to Yoko!

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Waiting for Bus 8 to Yokohama train station. We knew to look for the kanji character that looked like an old style camera on a tripod as that was Yokohama. Hey it worked!

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Bus driver giving me the look.

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This was the only sign that I can remember that had English on it near our house in Yokohama. BTW, it was a hot, hazy and humid summer day on the Kanto Plain that day.

Anyway, no complaints here, but as you can see not much in the way of English (none actually). That was Japan in the late 1970s. We had a blast!

Thanks for your visit!

Chris and Carol ^.^

Fuji… just Fuji

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Mount Fuji from Yokohama.

That simple four letter word needs no other introduction. Known the world over for its beautiful conical  shape. We were lucky to live in the Naka Ward in Kanagawa Prefecture and would often have this view to our west on a clear evening. Carol and I never grew tired of looking for it whenever we traveled somewhere new Рhoping to see it from a new vantage point. These images are but a few of the hundreds of images of Fuji. They are in no set order and all were taken from 1977 to late 1979. Primarily shot with a Canon F-1 (1978 version) and a Canon AE-1.

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Our go to film while living in Yokohama. Kodachrome holds up well over the years when properly stored.

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Freezing cold and crystal clear winter day near the base of Fuji.

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Carol enjoying the view and freezing to death while doing so.

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Canon F-1 with FD 80-200mm zoom lens at 200mm.

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Road trip to Fuji-san.

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A reminder that Fuji is an active volcano.

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Fuji sunset as seen from the hill behind our home in Yokohama.

We never had the chance to climb Fuji while we were there. The constant deployments of my Navy ship kept me on an unpredictable schedule and made it impossible to find the time during the climbing months. Maybe we will have a chance – we are always hopeful.

Many thanks for your visit.

Chris and Carol