太陽堂/Taiyodo

So, my go-to camera shop in Tokyo has gone out of business, which I think I mentioned in a previous post. I know that there are many great camera shops in Tokyo, but Taiyodo in Jimbocho had a special place in my heart. The men who worked there always showed an interest in my photography, and the prints I had done there were excellent. On top of that, I am sad to see old, independently owned Jimbocho businesses go out. A nearby independently owned restaurant was recently replaced by a Doutor; I hope that at least the space gets rented out to someone doing something unique, rather than another chain restaurant.

Anyway, a friend and I were talking about Taiyodo tonight, and he mentioned, much to my surprise, that they once made cameras: Beautyflex. Barry Toogood at TLR-Cameras.com has a write up of Taiyodo and Beautyflex cameras, which can be found here (http://www.tlr-cameras.com/japanese/Taiyodo.html), as well as pictures of some of the models. Reading GoatKarma indicates that they have become a rarity (http://www.goatkarma.com/2009/11/the-massive-guide-to-tlr-cameras-part-4-other-tlrs/) Here is another website with good information (http://www.thecamerasite.net/06_TLR_Cameras/Pages/yashicaflex.htm#beauty) More detailed information in Japanese (http://www.tlr66.com/abcde/beautyflex-d.php).

I don’t know the first thing about TLRs, and I don’t mean to embark on a new hobby. However, if I get the chance to talk to any of the folks who worked there, I will try to add some details about the shop and its run as a camera manufacturer.

Taiyodo

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