Pioneering Japanese photojournalist passes away at 107

Tsuneko Sasamoto, a pioneering photographer considered the first woman photojournalist in Japan, who swore by a glass of red wine each night as one of the keys to good health has passed away at the age of 107, said the national media on Monday.


She died on 15 August of old age, the media added, a little more than two weeks before her 108th birthday.

Born in Tokyo in World War I, Sasamoto initially wanted to be a painter, but her father discouraged her from doing so. Inspired by a black and white film she saw with a friend, she started her career as a photographer and joined the Japan Photographic Association in 1940.

His subjects ranged from the well-known, such as General Douglas MacArthur, who oversaw the occupation of Japan after the Second World War, to the wives of coal miners.

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In an interview on the Art & Design Inspiration website after 107 years, Sasamoto said that a glass of red wine each night and a chunk of chocolate each day were among the keys to its longevity.

“You should never become lazy,” she said. “Keeping positive in your life and never giving up are essential.”

She added, “You need to push yourself and stay conscious, so you can move forward.”

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