- IRIE TAIKICHI
Irie Taikichi was born in Nara City in 1905. When he was young, he aspired to being a painter, however, his elder brother sent him a “Vest Pocket Kodak” camera made by Eastman Kodak of the US, and became dedicated to taking photos.
In 1931, he opened a photography shop “Kogeisha” in Osaka. His photos of Bunraku (Japanese traditional doll play), “Bunraku in spring” won first prize in the Sekai-idou photography contest and he started to gain a reputation for Bunraku photos.
In March of 1945, his residence and his shop were burnt down in the great Osaka air raid, and he returned to his hometown of Nara. On 17th November the same year, he saw that the statue of Shitennno that had been moved to the countryside for safety during the war had been brought back to Hokke-do Hall in Todai-ji Temple. He heard a rumor that the statues might be going to be taken to the US as war trophies, and he decided to take photos of them for the record. After that, he devoted his time to taking photos of landscapes, Buddha statues, and traditional seasonal events of Nara-Yamatoji.
In his later years, he also photographed “Flowers of Manyo (ancient Nara)”. He was a photographer who took photos of Nara-Yamaotoji for almost half a century. He passed away on 16th January, 1992, at the age of 86.