The son of an amateur Pictorialist, Kansuke Yamamoto (1914–1987) developed and interest in poetry as a teenager. After spending a year in Tokyo studying French poetry at the French Literature Department of Meiji University, he dropped out and returned to Nagoya, his hometown, where he acquainted himself with the poetry of Chiru Yamanaka. An important Surrealist artist who published Ciné, a magazine of Surrealist poetry, Yamanaka took Yamamoto as his protégé. Yamamoto embraced photography as a visual means to communicate ideas. He first began taking photographs in 1931 at the age of seventeen, creating an incredible body of work that speaks to the Surrealist impulse.
Yamamoto owed much to his father, Goro Yamamoto, who owned a photo-supply shop in Nagoya and cofounded the Aiyu Photography Club, the largest amateur photo-club in the town. Although Yamamoto did not embrace the Pictorialist trends prevalent in the Club and the salon style exhibitions of the day, the exposure to photography was invaluable.
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