Prewar Mamiya 6 camera, donated by Sugahara in Hiroshima, is exhibited in lobby of Chugoku Shimbun headquarters building

Late Yoshito Matsushige, photographer, also used Mamiya 6 camera regularly

by Keiko Watanabe, Staff Writer

On January 11, a Mamiya 6 camera manufactured before World War II was added to cameras exhibited in the lobby on the first floor of the Chugoku Shimbun headquarters building in Hiroshima city’s Naka Ward. The camera was used as a reference when the Chugoku Shimbun created a manga depicting Yoshito Matsushige (who died at the age of 92 in 2005), a former staff photographer for the Chugoku Shimbun who took photos of Hiroshima City on the day of the atomic bombing on August 6. Hiroshi Sugahara, 84, a camera collector living in the city’s Nishi Ward, donated the camera to the Chugoku Shimbun, saying, “I hope the camera will be used to pass on the memory to the next generation.”

The camera added to the display is a Mamiya 6 Type I camera that the then Mamiya Kouki manufacturing company, located in Tokyo, launched in 1940. The camera is 11 centimeters in height, 14.5 centimeters in width and 750 grams in weight. Vivid pictures could be taken with this camera, which was sturdy and easy to carry due to its bellows-style.

After the war, Mr. Matsushige bought a new Mamiya 6 camera to replace his cherished one, and donated the new camera to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum afterward. As the shape and number of viewfinders of the prewar Mamiya 6 camera are different from those of the Mamiya 6 camera produced after the war, the Chugoku Shimbun, which organized the manga project, asked for Mr. Sugahara’s cooperation. Mr. Sugahara visited the lobby of the Chugoku Shimbun and said, “I’d be glad if the camera would provide visitors with an opportunity to imagine how Mr. Matsushige felt when he released the shutter, crying.”

“Manga story of the A-bombed city newspaper,” published last year in conjunction with the 130th anniversary of the Chugoku Shimbun’s founding, is also available on the Chugoku Shimbun Digital website.

(Originally published on January 12, 2023)