Kazumasa Ogawa (1860 – 1929) was a pioneering Japanese photographer who lived through the Meiji era. He’s known for a lot of photographic firsts — first photo studio in Tokyo (1884), first collotype photo printing business (1889), the list goes on — but he’s also known for his hand-colored photos of flowers, plants and landscapes of Japan.

In addition to running his business manufacturing dry plates for use by photographers, Ogawa also kept busy editing Shashin Shinpo, the only photographic journal at the time, as well as for Kokka (National flower) magazine, which perhaps helps explain his fixation with flowers.

Ogawa began studying photography at the age of 15. He even spent time in Boston studying photography and printing. You can see much more of his work at Rawpixel and the Getty Museum. And if you’d like to learn more about the man, here’s an essay on him by art historian Kelly McCormick.

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