Famed Japanese Photographer Takeyoshi Tanuma Dies at 93

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Photographer Takeyoshi Tanuma (photo taken in 2019)

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Prominent Japanese photographer Takeyoshi Tanuma, known for documenting children around the world and traditional landscapes of “shitamachi” working-class districts for decades, has died at his home in Tokyo, it was learned Thursday. He was 93.

Born to a family running a photo studio in Tokyo’s Asakusa district, Tanuma graduated from Tokyo Professional School of Photographic Industry, now Tokyo Polytechnic University, and studied under the mentorship of the late renowned Japanese photographer Ihei Kimura.

As a part-time photographer for Japanese monthly art magazine Geijutsu Shincho, Tanuma took pictures of cultural figures. He was also active in the world of photojournalism as a contract photographer for Time Life of the United States.

Going freelance in 1972, Tanuma took pictures of children around the world as his lifework. He visited over 120 countries and regions.

Tanuma served in posts including chief of the Japan Professional Photographers Society. He was awarded the Order of Culture from the Japanese government in 2019, becoming the first photographer to receive the honor.