Shunkichi Kikuchi

Shunkichi Kikuchi 菊池 俊吉, (1 May 1916 – 5 November 1990) was a Japanese photographer best known for his documentation of Hiroshima and Tokyo immediately after the war.Kikuchi was born in Hanamaki, Iwate on 1 May 1916. After graduating from the Oriental School of Photography, Kikuchi was employed in the Photography Division of Tokyo Kōgeisha and began his career as a news photographer. In 1941 he worked in the photography division of Tōhōsha, a company established by Sōzō Okada and in 1942 was a member of the photographic staff of the magazine Front. His work took him to China, “Manchukuo” and the Philippines.

In 1945, the Ministry of Education organized the “Science Council of Japan Special Committee on the Damage Caused by the Atomic Bomb, Hiroshima/Nagasaki Survey Group”, and commissioned Nippon Eiga-sha as its Documentary Film Division. Kikuchi served as a still photographer attached to the division and was hired to document hibakusha for medical purposes. He recorded post-atomic bomb Hiroshima from 30 September to 22 October 1945. In November he was back photographing Tokyo, particularly a home for vagrant children.

Kikuchi also helped establish a new magazine where he became involved in scientific photography for the first time.

From 1951 Kikuchi’s photographs were published in such prominent magazines as Sekai, Chūōkōron, and Fujin Kōron.

Kikuchi died on 5 November 1990 aged 74 from leukemia, which many have attributed to his extensive work in irradiated Hiroshima.