Takeyoshi Tanuma

Child and father dancing rehearse, 1958
© Takeyoshi Tanuma courtesy Studio Equis

Takeyoshi Tanuma

Silver Gelatin Print

25 x 38 cm

Tanuma in was born 1929, in Tokyo’s Asakusa-district, Tokyo’s old entertainment district, famous for its old kabuki theatres, Tokyo’s first cinemas and amusement park, and one of Tokyo’s oldest and most prominent shrines, the Senso-ji Shrine. Tanuma studied at the Tokyo College of Photography, now known as the Tokyo Polytechnic University, and graduated in 1949. After graduating Tanuma joined the Sun News Photo Company, where he studied under photographer Ihei Kimura. In 1959, he leaves the company to become a freelancer. In 1995, Tanuma became a professor at Tokyo Polytechnic University’s Photography department, where he had graduated from. Tanuma is most famous for his photographs of children, which he took especially during 1984 to 2000, when he was accompanying the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Tetsuko Kuroyanagi on his visits around the world.


Tanuma participated in the establishing of the Japanese Photographers Association in1950 and became the Association’s president in 1995. He has also won an array of significant awards including the Japanese Photographic Society’s Award, which he has won an impressive three times (1975, 1988, 1994); the Mobil Children’s Culture Award (1979); and the Kikuchi Kan Award (1985). In addition Tanuma has earned the Purple Ribbon, a Japanese Medal of Honour for academic and artistic accomplishment; and the title of Japanese Person of Cultural Merit.

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