The Toyoca Six is a horizontal folder, with three-part folding struts inspired from the 6×6 Ikonta. The Toyoca has many similarities with the 1953 Beauty Six by Taiyōdō; the two cameras seem to share the same body casting and a few parts.
The back is hinged to the right, as seen by the photographer, and retained by a sliding bar on the left. It normally contains two red windows to control the film advance, one for 6×6cm pictures and the other for 4.5×6cm. These are protected by individual sliding covers, with 16.E.X. and 12.E.X. indications. (The back is shaped the same as on the Beauty Six, and the position of the windows is similar, but the details of the window covers differ.)
The film is advanced by a knob the left end of the top plate, and there is a decorative flange at the opposite end. The viewfinder is integrated in the middle of the top housing. The accessory shoe is to the viewfinder's left. The shutter release is at the usual location on the right. There is a small cylindrical part visible immediately to the right of the viewfinder, which might be a threaded hole for a release cable. The folding bed release button is placed in front of the accessory shoe and has a smooth wedge shape, exactly the same as on the Beauty Six
The name Toyoca is engraved at the front of the top housing, in front of the accessory shoe, the TG logo of Tougodo is inscribed on the folding struts, and the body serial number appears above the top plate, on the viewfinder's right.
The shutter has a self-timer and a PC synch socket. The lens is a front-cell focusing Tri-Lausar Anastigmat 8cm f/3.5, made by Tomioka. The shutter plate has depth-of-field indications on a black background.
The ever-ready case is made of brown leather and is embossed Toyoca 6 at the front.
Commercial life and surviving examples
|Toyoca Six in Shashin Kōgyō Summer 1957. (Image rights)|
One source says that the Toyoca Six was released in 1956 as a single format camera, taking 6×6cm pictures only, but this has not been confirmed yet.
The only period document known so far is a column in the Summer 1957 special issue of Shashin Kōgyō on Japanese cameras, where the Toyoca Six is attributed to Tōgōdō Kōki and priced at ¥6,500. This document mentions the dual-format ability and says that the shutter is a CHY-FS (B, 1–200) with X synchronization.
The Toyoca Six is very uncommon today, and only three surviving examples have been observed so far. One of them is owned by the Pentax Gallery. It has a round lens standard and a leatherette patch on the film flange at the top right. Its shutter is a CHY-SB shutter (B, 1–200), engraved CHY–SB at the bottom of the speed rim. Its aperture scale, at the top of the shutter casing, is metal finished.
The other two examples have an angled lens standard, with a decorated protrusion behind the synch socket. They also have concentric rings on the film flange instead of a leatherette patch. These features are the same as on the illustration of the Summer 1957 article mentioned above. (The front standard is also similar to that found on some advertisements for the 1953 Beauty Six.) The two cameras have no marking on the shutter, and have a black aperture scale at the top. One has B, 1–200 speeds and the other has B, 1–300.
- "Toyoca" is certainly the contraction of Toyohashi — Tougodo's hometown — and Camera.
- Case observed in an online auction.
- Kamera no ayumi, p.140. This source wrongly says that the decorated lens standard is specific to the single format camera.
- Column in Shashin Kōgyō no.63, p.116, reproduced in this page. It is the only document listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.392.
- Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1422, and in Kamera no ayumi, p.140 (body no.1x5741, lens no.60594). The latter source wrongly says that the round lens standard is a specific feature of the dual-format examples.
- Examples observed in an online auction. B, 1–200: lens no.36340. B, 1–300: body no.198958, lens no.39844.
- 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 1392.
- Kamera no ayumi. Zen nihon shashin renmei sōritsu 50-shūnen kinen (カメラのあゆみ・全日本写真連盟創立五〇周年記念, History of cameras, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the All Japan Association of Photographic Societies). Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1976. No ISBN number. P.140.
- 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.185 (brief mention only).
- Shashin Kōgyō no.63 (Summer 1957). "Nihon no kamera zenbō: Nigan-refu kamera – supuringu kamera" (日本のカメラ全貌・二眼レフカメラ・スプリングカメラ, Compendium of Japanese cameras: TLR and folding cameras). P.116.
- Sugiyama, Kōichi (杉山浩一); Naoi, Hiroaki (直井浩明); Bullock, John R. The Collector's Guide to Japanese Cameras. 国産カメラ図鑑 (Kokusan kamera zukan). Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1985. ISBN 4-257-03187-5. Item 1422.