Japanese Vest (4×5 and 4×6.5) (edit)
4×4.5 Orient
4×5 Minion
4×6.5 Clover Vest | Dianette | Eagle | Friend | Kooa | National | New Vest | Nifcarette | Pearlette | B Pearlette | Special Pearlette | Pionette | Pocket Prince | Sirius Bebe | Speed Pocket | Tsubasa Spring | [[Victory]
rigid or collapsible
4×5 Alfax | Olympus Standard | Sakura (bakelite) | [[Well Standard|Well Standar
4×6.5 Vest Adler | Vest Alex | Kowa Kid | Light | Light Super | Baby Minolta | Minolta Vest | Regal Olympic | Vest Olympic | Tsubasa Chrome | Zen-99
4×6.5 Baby Clover | Sakura (box) | Spirit
4×5 Vesten
999+99*9999999 Victor Vest
unknown Meiro
Japanese 3×4 and 4×4, 4.5×6, 6×6 and 6×9 ->

Template:Japanese older 6×9 See also the Sakura bakelite camera in 4×5cm format, also made by Konishiroku; for other uses, see the "Sakura" disambiguation page.

The Sakura (さくら) is a wooden box camera made from 1931 by Konishiroku (predecessor of Konica). It exists in two sizes. The model taking 4×6.5cm pictures on 127 film was released first and it was followed by a model taking 6×9cm pictures on 120 film.[1]


The Sakura is an ordinary box camera, with brilliant finders for vertical and horizontal pictures. The lens is fixed-focus, and the name SAKURA CAMERA is inscribed below, together with the model size 4×6½cm or 6×9cm.

The shutter has T and I settings selected by a small arrow above the lens. It is said that this shutter was the first made by Konishiroku itself, while previous Konishiroku cameras were equipped with imported shutters.[2]

There is a handle, embossed SAKURA and diagonally attached to the top of the camera. The back is hinged to the bottom; the back latch is at the top and is engraved ROKUOH-SHA TOKYO. The interior of the camera consists of a metal frame, grouping the exposure chamber, film rollers, spool holders and even the lens. This frame comes out as a whole for film loading.


The Sakura 4×6.5 exists in three versions, all with rectangular finder eyepieces and a single uncovered red window in the middle of the back. Some sources say that the camera was supplied with a mask allowing to take 3×4cm pictures as well.[3] The 127 roll film sold in Japan at the time maybe had indications on the paper backing for half-frame pictures.

The first version has a black finish, and a sliding release lever on the right-hand side.[4] The second version has a crinkled brown finish with brown fittings, and a pivoting release lever attached to the front plate.[5] The third version is similar but has a knurled advance knob instead of the advance key.[6]

The Sakura 6×9 has always been observed in brown finish, and three versions are known. All are dual format, taking both 6×9cm and 4.5×6cm exposures. There are small prongs in the eyepieces to indicate the field of view for half frame exposures. The back has three red windows, grouped under a vertical metal plate on the right. There is a metal sliding cover which can take two positions, differentiated by the number 1 and 2 showing under a small frame attached to the sliding part. In position 1, the top red window is opened for 6×9 exposures; in position 2, the two other red windows are opened for 4.5×6 exposures. The numbers 1 and 2 probably mean "full frame" (one picture per frame) and "half frame" (two pictures per frame).

The evolution of the large model parallel that of the smaller one. The first version[7] has rectangular eyepieces and the shutter release on the right hand side, at the bottom. No aperture control is visible. The second version[8] has round eyepieces, a pivoting shutter release on the front plate, and an index at the bottom of the lens, with three positions marked A, B and C, used to set the aperture.[9] The third version is similar but has a knurled advance knob instead of the advance key, the same as on the 4×6.5 model.[10]

Commercial life[]

The sources agree that the Sakura was released in 1931.[11] It was an inexpensive camera at the time it was sold: the 4×6.5 version cost ¥3.50 and the 6×9 cost ¥5.[12]

Original box[]

The original cardboard box has a greenish colour with red patterns and a naive drawing of schoolboys playing sports, photographed by a young boy and a young man, supposedly using Sakura box cameras.[13] The markings are SAKURA CAMERA in the Roman alphabet, and ラメカらくさ ("Sakura camera" from right to left in a mix of hiragana and katakana script), an indication of the format, an inscription inviting to use Sakura film, and finally the maker's name 社櫻六 ("Rokuoh-sha" from right to left, in old writing) and 京東 ("Tokyo" from right to left).


  1. Order of the models: Nihon no kamera, pp.26–7.
  2. See this page of the Camera Information Center.
  3. Tanaka, p.37 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10. Sugiyama, item 4014, mentions dual format, perhaps by mistake.
  4. This version is pictured in Sugiyama, item 4013, and in this page of the Center of the History of Japanese Industrial Technology.
  5. This version is pictured in Sugiyama, item 4014, and in this page at Maf-net. One example observed for sale by a dealer has a small silver metal strip for the "T" and "I" indications, certainly to replace the broken brown plastic part.
  6. This version is pictured in Tanaka, p.37 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
  7. This version is pictured in this page at Pacific Rim Camera, in Tanaka, p.37 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10, and in Lewis, p.43.
  8. This version is pictured in this page of the Center of the History of Japanese Industrial Technology.
  9. A, B, C indications: Sugiyama, item 4015.
  10. This version is pictured in Sugiyama, item 4015, and in this page of the Nagoya Club website.
  11. Tanaka, p.37 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10; Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.12; Lewis, p.43; Sugiyama, items 4013–5.
  12. Nihon no kamera, p.27; Tanaka, p.37 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
  13. Original box pictured in this page at Pacific Rim Camera and in this page of the Nagoya Camera Club.



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Konishiroku prewar and wartime cameras (edit)
plate hand cameras stereo hand cameras strut folders box telephoto SLR
Idea (original) | Idea A | Idea B | Idea Snap | Idea No.1 | Idea (metal) | Lily (original) | Lily (horizontal) | Lily (metal) | Tropical Lily | Noble | Ohca | Sakura Palace | Sakura Pocket Prano | Sakura Prano Idea Binocular | Sakura Binocular Prano Minimum Idea | Idea Spring | Korok Champion | Cherry | Sakura Army | Sakura Honor | Sakura Navy Idea Telephoto Idea Reflex (1910 and 1911) | Idea Reflex (1932) | Neat Reflex | Sakura Reflex Prano
rollfilm folders box or collapsible TLR
Pearlette | Special Pearlette | B Pearlette | Pearl (for plates and rollfilm) | Pearl No.2 | Pearl (Year 8) | Baby Pearl | Semi Pearl | Sakura Palace Record | Sakura (box) | Sakura (bakelite) Sakura-flex