Yataro Arikado collection


general material designation


[graphic material]


38 photographs and 30 negatives






scope and content


The collection consists of images taken by Yataro Arikado. Subjects include group portraits of significant social events of the early Japanese communities in BC with a focus on Vancouver.




Yataro Arikado's approach to compositional structure and detail, and painterly rendering of outdoor photographs may be compared with the work of Mr. Okamura, with whom he apprenticed before opening his own studio.



Having arrived from the prefecture of Fukuoka, in 1869, at the age of eighteen, he worked as a domestic, as many immigrants did, not only for economic reasons but also to acquire working knowledge of the English language. He opened his own studio, in 1908, at 228 Main Street, in Vancouver. Later he opened a second studio in Steveston on Lulu Island, in response to the expanding settlement of Japanese immigrant fishers and their





According to his son David Arikado, of Toronto, he moved into a family home around 1923 which deprived him of a proper studio, and his photographs after that date are largely taken out of doors, documenting events, interest groups, and settlements that existed in and around Vancouver.



Mr Arikado is remembered as a perfectionist, delaying photo takes, saying 'mucho okure' in his Fukuoka dialect, 'matte okure' (please wait a minute), which is remembered by friends as inevitably raising a chuckle from his subjects. In a popular story about Arikado setting up his equipment to take a photograph of a ship in harbour, his preparations for perfection took so long that when the photograph was developed, it showed only the ship's wake. The ship itself had long gone.









Nikkei National Museum