Having possibly served in the Japanese army during the Japanese-Russian War as a comedian, Frank S. Matsura arrived in the United States in 1905, first settling in Seattle. He soon took a job at the Elliot Hotel at Conconully, Washington, as a handyman, then moved to Okanogan, Washington, in 1907. There he established a photography studio until he died at age 32 of tuberculosis in 1913. His extensive photographic work in smalltown Washington, including many portraits of Indians, was preserved by his friend, Judge William C. Brown. The photos became the property of Washington State University Library in the early 1960s when they were acquired with the private papers of William Compton Brown. They were processed in February 1979 by David Smestad, with further sifting by Terry Abraham in February 1981. Matsura's photos form the basis of The Real Old West, Images of a Frontier Town.


The Real Old West: Images of a Frontier Town (Douglas & McIntyre, 1981)

[BCBW 2004] "Photography" "Japanese"