Wadokei Collections

Wadokei Collections are known to be found at:

National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, Japan

Seiko Museum, Tokyo, Japan

Daimyo Clock Museum, Tokyo, Japan

Matsumoto Clock Museum, Matsumoto, Japan

British Museum, London, by arrangement.

Letter to the Office of the Secretary NAWCC, 9 July 1951, from Prof. Ryuji Yamaguchi

“I have the great pleasure to write this letter and will tell you something about the watch and clock collectors in Japan.

There were many collectors in Japan before World War II, such as:

  1. Takabayashi Collection (Japanese Clocks and Watches), care of National Science Museum, Tokyo.
  2. Kamiguchi Collection (Japanese Clocks and Watches), care-of Kamiguchi Museum, Tokyo.
  3. Tomiie Collection (Japanese and Eu­ropean Clocks and Watches), Tokyo.
  4. Itakuta Collection (some Japanese Clocks, and great many European watches), Tokyo.
  5. Maeda Collection (Japanese Clocks and European and American Watches), Nagoya.
  6. Kondo Collection (Japanese and European Clocks and Watches), Osaka.
  7. H. H. Mody Collection (Japanese Clocks and Watches).

Among them, (3), (5) and (7 ) were completely burnt down during the war, and (4), (6) were partly burnt down during the war, and the remaining parts were sold and dispersed. And there are only two collection; that is Takabayashi and Kamiguchi Collections, as far as I know and as far as Japanese clocks are concerned.

After the war new collectors appeared. I will mention two. One is Mr. Mitsuno, who is a businessman and has collected many watches, clocks and automata of European origin. The other is Mr. Hirai, who has been an antique watch and clock dealer in Tokyo and has been called “Director of Watch Collectors College,” as many collectors were guided by him. He has collected many docks and watches of Japanese and foreign origin and is going to establish the Clock Museum in Tokyo and is very desirous to collect books on Horology.

I have sent you a short article on our Chapter activities with two photos by air mail on the 25th day of June, which I think reached you. I will find out about many other minor collectors and will report to you, and also I will write an article on the collections of Takabayashi, Kamiguchi and Hirai, with photos. I would be very glad and thank you in advance if you would kindly send me a set of back issues of the BULLETIN of NAWCC. in order to give them to the collection of Mr. Hirai, which will be open to the public as the Clock Museum in the near future.

The back issues of the BULLETIN have been much appreciated by all visitors of Takabayashi and Kamiguchi Collections, as they read them and at least like to look at them (when they cannot read English at all) and will benefit from the pictures in them. I have never experienced such good books as a set of back issues of NAWCC for collectors, whether they can read English or not.

With best regards, I am,

Very truly yours,

Prof. Ryuji Yamaguchi,

Tokyo University of Commerce, P. O. Box 5, Kunitachi, Tokyo, Japan.

The Uniontown Morning Herald, Pennsylvania, USA, 6 Sep 1956 included this photograph and caption:

Sakujiro Kamiguchi is not included in Ryuji Yamaguchi’s letter of 1951, above.

Newspaper Cutting