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 7

New Year Celebrations

Eating soba, still a part of ringing out the old year in Japan today. This image is part of The New Year in Japan, a book published by Kobe-based photographer Kozaburo Tamamura in 1906. Original text:

The last hours of the old year are speeding on their journey into oblivion; the disagreeable task of demanding payments of old debts is finished, and just before the year expires, the family and the domestics meet together in mutual harmony, to partake of (Japanese) macaroni.1 Ah! The clock strikes out the death knell of the old year; the assembled ones remain silent, absorbed in thought, for a moment or two, and then take a very brief rest, ere they awake in the early morn to welcome the New Year and to perform the many, many customs handed down from a period immemorial.2

See all New Year images on Old Photos of Japan.

1 Soba.

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

Photographer: Kozaburo Tamamura
Publisher: Kozaburo Tamamura
Medium: Collotype Print
Image Number 80115-0031

Quote this number when you contact us about licensing this image.
You can also licence this image online: 80115-0031 @ MeijiShowa.com.

Usage of this image requires a reproduction fee.
Posted by • 2009-01-01
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