The available documents only say that the Royal Junior was distributed by Sanshin Sangyō, and make no mention of the actual manufacturer. The camera is probably related to the Royal Senior and Royal 35, which were certainly made by Miyagawa Seisakusho. Despite the name, it is certainly unrelated to the later Royal 35 rangefinder models made by Royal Camera from 1955.
The Royal Junior is a vertical folder, taking both 6×9cm and 4.5×6cm exposures. It has a folding frame finder on the side, with bars indicating the field of view for half-frame pictures. An additional brilliant finder is attached to the front standard. The lens is a fixed-focus Royal Rapid, said to have multiple elements (福玉), perhaps of the Rapid Rectilinear variety. It seems that only two apertures are available. The shutter has a limited range of speeds (B, 1/25, 1/50, 1/75, 1/100) and is synchronized for flash via a pin at the bottom. The shutter plate is marked JUNIOR at the top and ROYAL at the bottom.
The Royal Junior was announced as a new product in the June 1951 issue of Asahi Camera. In October 1951, it was featured and advertised in the Japanese photography magazine Camera Fan, reproduced below. The documents give the price of ¥3,500, the case costing ¥600 extra. Further advertisements are reported in the same magazine, dated February to June 1952.
|Royal Junior in Camera Fan October 1951. (Image rights).||Advertisement in the same magazine. (Image rights).|
The camera was certainly sold in limited numbers, and no surviving example has been observed yet.
- Camera Fan October 1951. "Kokusan kamera daitokushū" (国産カメラ大特集, Large special issue on Japanese cameras). Pp.25–44.
- Camera Fan. Advertisement by Sanshin Sangyō in October 1951, p.87.
- Asahi Camera (アサヒカメラ) editorial staff. Shōwa 10–40nen kōkoku ni miru kokusan kamera no rekishi (昭和10–40年広告にみる国産カメラの歴史, Japanese camera history as seen in advertisements, 1935–1965). Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1994. ISBN 4-02-330312-7. Item 1048.
- Lewis, Gordon, ed. The History of the Japanese Camera. Rochester, N.Y.: George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography & Film, 1991. ISBN 0-935398-17-1 (paper), ISBN 0-935398-16-3 (hard). P.75 (mistakenly says that the camera is for 6×6cm and 4.5×6cm).
The Royal Junior is not listed in Sugiyama.