Tsuneko Sasamoto

Tsuneko Sasamoto

2016 Honoree: Lifetime Achievement



Tsuneko Sasamoto has been in the field of photography for more than 75 years. Born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1914, her career in photography began at the age of 25 when Kenichi Hayashi suggested her to be the first Japanese woman photojournalist. That year she took pictures of Burmese dignitaries; the Japan-America Student Conference; the Tripartite Pact Women’s Society between Japan, Germany, and Italy; and Hitler Youth. In 1950 the Japan Professional Photographers Society was established and she became one of the founding members.

In 1960, 20 years into her career, the campaign against the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty occurred. In 1968 Ms. Sasamoto visited Europe for the first time, and from there on she traveled to various countries all over the world. Ms. Sasamoto’s lifetime work has been focused on taking pictures of independent-minded women who have struggled through the hard times of the Meiji Era, when women did not have much freedom or much choice in life.

Tsuneko Sasamoto – presenter Miriam Romais