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Pennar in the October 1955

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Advertisement by Chiyoda Shōkai

K.K. Chiyoda Shōkai (㈱千代田商会) was a Japanese distributor in Ginza, Tokyo.


The company was established in April 1946 by Yamashita Yūjirō (山下友治郎) and Hashimoto Tadamasa (橋本忠政), and succeeded to the company Yamashita Yūjirō Shōten, as was clearly stated in an advertisement in Ars Camera. Yamashita Yūjirō probably left at some time to found another company, again called Yamashita Yūjirō Shōten, based in Ogawamachi and known to be active in February 1950.

Chiyoda Shōkai advertised the Chiyoca Leica copy from 1954; its name was a contraction of Chiyota Camera. The actual manufacturer of the camera was the Reise company. The name of the camera became Chiyotax, certainly after a complaint by Chiyoda Kōgaku Seikō, predecessor of Minolta. Chiyoda Shōkai was still distributing in late 1956 and certainly until Summer 1957. All trace of the company is lost after that date.


The company name 千代田 is normally read "Chiyoda", but the name of the company has not been observed in Roman letters in any original document yet. Other companies called the same in Japanese are known to have used the Romanization "Chiyota" instead of "Chiyoda", and this was perhaps the case of Chiyoda Shōkai. This is made plausible by the adoption of the brand "Chiyotax" on the Leica copy distributed by the company, with an intermediate "Chiyota" engraving found on at least one example (see Chiyoca and Chiyotax).

Distributed cameras[]

  • Bolty (after 1945)
  • Picny B
  • Elliotte
  • Chiyoca and Chiyotax

The Chiyoko 6×6 TLR with Seikosha-MX shutter attributed to Chiyoda Shōkai in some sources is clearly a misidentified Minolta model, presumably a Minolta Autocord.

Cameras sold as authorized dealer[]

  • Dan 35
  • Stereo Leader


Chiyoda Shōkai was selling various accessories in the mid-1950s.

  • Reise TLR frame (c.1955, see Reise)
  • Pennar, mirror finder for TLR cameras, attached on top of the camera's viewing hood, and displaying a laterally reversed image at eye level, sold for ¥870 in 1955

References/External Links[]

All credit goes back to Camera Wiki Org for i do not own any of these information nor the pictures provided in this page