OLD PHOTOS of JAPAN, a photo blog of Japan in the Meiji, Taisho and Showa periods

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Old Photos of Japan
shows photos of Japan between the 1860s and 1930s. In 1854, Japan opened its doors to the outside world for the first time in more than 200 years. It set in motion a truly astounding transformation. As fate would have it, photography had just been invented. As the old country vanished and a new one was born, daring photographers took photos. Discover what life was like with their rare and precious photographs of old Japan.
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Kobe, 1906 • New Year Celebrations 10

New Year Celebrations

The first aisatsu (greetings) of the year. Out this custom, the more convenient modern custom of sending New Year cards (nengajo) was born. The New Year cards that are delivered on Nengajo became popular after the Japanese post office began issuing postcards in the Meiji Period (1868-1912). This image is part of The New Year in Japan, a book published by Kobe-based photographer Kozaburo Tamamura in 1906. Original text:

The ceremonial breakfast having been disposed of, the members of the family sally-fort to pay their respects to their friends. Merchants (or their representatives), dressed in faultless attire, call upon their friends and customers, and leave cards, or give a personal greeting. Friends and enemies (for the moment) are reconciled, and people who were wrangling with each other on the last day of the old year, are now indulging in hypocritical smiles, and an old Japanese maxim hath it:—“Ye, the devil of the eve, comes for homage in the morn!”1

See all New Year images on Old Photos of Japan.

1 Tamamura, Kozaburo (1906). The New Year in Japan. Tamamura Shashinkan.

Photographer: Kozaburo Tamamura
Publisher: Kozaburo Tamamura
Medium: Collotype Print
Image Number 80115-0034

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You can also licence this image online: 80115-0034 @ MeijiShowa.com.

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Posted by • 2009-01-01
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