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Photographer Looks for ‘Poddie-chan’

Before his retrospective closes, photographer Eikoh Hosoe has a mission to fulfill. He wants to find the little girl, by now a woman of 45 or so, who launched his career.

He took her picture in 1951 and the image won the grand prize in the student division of a Fuji Photo Contest--giving Hosoe enough cash to buy a new camera and a used enlarger--and it was tacked up in photo shops all over Japan.

He called the photograph “Poddie-chan"--Poddie because he understood that was his subject’s first name, and “chan” as a term of endearment. Now he thinks her first name may be Polly or Patty, but he is sure she is the daughter of a former U.S. Army sergeant named Jaworski who was stationed at Grant Heights in Tokyo in the 1950s.

“That picture made me a photographer. I’d just like to thank her,” Hosoe said.

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