Miyoshi Kōgaku was a Japanese optical company from 1937 to the war.


Miyoshi Kōgaku K.K. (三好光学株式会社) was founded in 1937 by Uemura Taijirō (植村泰二郎).[1] The factory was in Yodobashi, Tokyo, and it also had an address in Ginza.[2] Miyazaki Shizuma (宮崎静馬), the founder and CEO of Proud-sha, was in charge of the commercial operations.[3]

Lens production[]

The company should have been called "Uemura Lens Laboratory", but it was finally decided to call it Miyoshi Kōgaku.[4] The initials U.L.L. were retained as the brand name of the lenses. The U.L.L. lenses equipped various prewar and wartime Japanese cameras, and Proud-sha was of course one of the main clients. They were available at least in 50mm, 65mm, 75mm and 80mm focal lengths and in f/4.5, f/3.5 and f/2.9 maximal apertures (but maybe not in all combinations).[5]

John Baird says that the company used "B grade optical glass" (perhaps an official designation in Japan at the time), sometimes even obtained "by melting and reusing the glass from spectacles and camera lenses".[6]

Kajiro Hitoshi (上代斉) was employed by Miyoshi Kōgaku for a couple of years, as the director of the factory, before founding Kajiro Kōgaku (the maker of the K.O.L. lenses).[7]

Camera production[]

It seems that Miyoshi Kōgaku gradually absorbed Proud-sha and inherited its camera activity. The Semi Prux, a 4.5×6 folder, copy of the Kodak Duo, was jointly advertised by the two companies,[8] and its probable successor the Roavic (inspired by the Kodak Duo Series II) has a U.L.L. engraving inside the back.[9] The Kelly, a little-known Baldax copy related to the Semi Proud and Semi Rody, is also attributed to the company. The last camera was the Alma Four, released during the war.

After the war, the camera production was certainly continued by Sumida Kōki Seisakusho: the Roavic was revived as the Apollo and Mikado and a number of other cameras were made under the name Proud.

Shutter production[]

Miyoshi produced the Parkur, Selon and Kerio shutters.[10] This activity was probably inherited from the Proud company too. It also made the Vic I and Vic II shutters.[11]

Camera list[]

Cameras made by Miyoshi[]

The Semi Prux (1938–40) was perhaps jointly made with Proud.

Cameras with U.L.L. lenses[]


  1. Inoue, p.131 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.14.
  2. Its address in 1938, 1942 and 1943 was Tōkyō, Yodobashi, Nishi-Ochiai 2–514 (東京市淀橋区西落合2の514). Source: advertisement in Asahi Camera June 1938, p.A77; advertisement dated February 1942 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.105; and "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"). The Ginza address was 東京市京橋区銀座3—豊玉館. Source: June 1938 advertisement.
  3. Inoue, p.131 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.14.
  4. Inoue, p. 131 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.14.
  5. Advertisement for U.L.L. lenses, reproduced in Inoue, p.131 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.14, in Baird, The Japanese Camera, p.62, and in Baird, Kuribayashi-Petri Cameras, p.24.
  6. Baird, The Japanese Camera, p.63.
  7. Inoue, p.131 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.14.
  8. Advertisement in Asahi Camera February 1940, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.90.
  9. See the pictures in this post at
  10. Attribution to Miyoshi: "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), shutter items 18-R-5, 18-U-10 and 18-V-2.
  11. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), shutter items 18-U-13 and 18-V-5.