TOKYO: Pioneering photographer Tsuneko Sasamoto, considered Japan’s first female photojournalist, has died at the age of 107, domestic media reported Monday.

She died of old age on August 15, media added, just two weeks before her 108th birthday.

Born in Tokyo the year World War I began, Sasamoto originally wanted to become a painter, but was dissuaded by his father. Seeing it with his friend, he was impressed by the black-and-white film and began working as a photographer, joining the Photographic Society of Japan in 1940.

Her subjects ranged from celebrities such as General Douglas MacArthur, who oversaw the post-World War II occupation of Japan by the United States, to wives of coal miners.

“You shouldn’t be lazy,” she said. “It’s essential to stay positive about your life and never give up.”

“You have to push yourself and keep yourself conscious so you can move forward,” she added.

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