Mr. N. Maekawa attended the speech of Mr. Maitani on M-1 and reported it in the Olympus Mailing List.

attended the speech by Mr. Maitani on 19 October 1997. It was held by JCII(Japanese Camera Industrial Institute) and the place was JCII building which is next to Japanese Camera Museum in Tokyo. The speech was focused on M-1(OM-1). It was a really exciting story for me.

The chairman of the speech was Mr. Saeki. He was the chief editor of the magazine "Camera Mainichi". It was one of the main camera magazines in Japan. First he introduced Mr. Maitani to us; Mr. Maitani was in charge of the development of Pen, Pen F and OM-1. He entered Olympus in 1956. He was a student of the Department of Science and Engineering in Waseda University. He issued a patent on camera then. Camera was only a hobby of him and his major was turbo engine.

Mr. Sakurai, an executive of Olympus at that time, was much interested in Mr. Maitani and took him into Olympus. It was Mr. Maitani who worked for the prosperity of half frame cameras. If this speech is well received, there will be a speech on Olympus Pen in February next year, and the third speech will be about Pen F series.

Mr. Maitani appeared and he said his talk will be focused on the representative cameras in his 40 years of career. He started his speech with some slides of cameras. Below is what he said in his speech.

Mr. Maitani majored in fuel injection of turbo engine in the University. Camera was nothing but his hobby then. But it became his job finally. (After showing the slides of Pen, Pen S, Pen D, he showed Pen EE.) Great numbers of Pen EE was sold. The number of Pen EE sold was 12 million. The total number of Pen series sold was from 17 to 18 million.

Until Pen EE, the project was actually proceeded by Mr. Maitani alone. (He showed the picture of Pen EED.) Pen EED was a "too exquisite" (How should I say Japanese "korisugi" in English?) camera. Since Pen EED, he was not alone and several people were responsible for the development of Pen cameras with him. (Showing the pictures of Pen F, FV and FT.) These are the last Pens. There has been 20 types of Pen cameras. (After showing the pictures of Pen F System equipment, M-1, OM-2, OM-3 and OM-4, the slide was changed to XA and XA2.) XA2 was the winner of the grand award of "Good Design" (in Japan). This can be the last "camera" which wins this grand award. Camera cannot win this prize recently.

The rest of the speech is summarized in Mr. N. Maekawa's web pages on M-1 and OM-1.


Mr. Maitani's final speech on the cameras he had developed in Olympus was held in Japan Camera Museum on 12 July 1998.

Mr. Maekawa could not attend it but he got some information on what Mr. Maitani said and did on that day.

The title of the speech was "Episodes on Olympus XA development". Some of the points of the speech were:

Help of many colleague is needed to produce a new camera. Since the concept of XA was quite new and advanced, he had to make much effort to convince people in Olympus of the new concept.

Mr. Maitani himself created the body design of XA, forming it with clay at his home. He made the clay model at midnight while listening to the Japanese famous FM radio music program Jet Stream.

XA2 got the Japanese "Good Design" Grand Award of the year. It meant XA2 was evaluated as at the top of industrial design in Japan.

He intended that XA is like a ceramic art product that fits nicely in the hand. He chose a special surface finish to produce a stone-like feeling.

Mr. Maitani signed his name on the OM-1, Pen-F, and XA camera bodies of the attendants. The signature is "Y. Maitani" in English alphabets.


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