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

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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Conflicts of Interest: Art and War in Modern Japan • Philip Hu et al

This fascinating publication showcases the Saint Louis Art Museum’s collection of Japanese military prints and related materials―one of the largest collections of such works in the world.


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Yokohama, 1890s • Dezome-shiki

New Year

Firefighters in happi coats perform acrobatic stunts on top of bamboo ladders. The ladder stunts were the main event of Japanese New Year celebrations. The demonstrations, called dezome-shiki, were intended to warn people of the dangers of fire, and to demonstrate the agility and courage of the firefighters.

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Tokyo, 1920s • Dezome-shiki

Firefighters

Firefighters in happi coats perform acrobatic stunts on top of bamboo ladders. The ladder stunts were the main event of Japanese New Year celebrations. The demonstrations, called dezome-shiki, were intended to warn people of the dangers of fire, and to demonstrate the agility and courage of the firefighters. For detailed information about fires in Japan, read Yokohama, 1890s • Dezome-shiki.

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Yokohama, 1900s • Dezome-shiki

Firefighters

Firefighters in happi coats perform acrobatic stunts on top of bamboo ladders. The ladder stunts were the main event of Japanese New Year celebrations. The demonstrations, called dezome-shiki, were intended to warn people of the dangers of fire, and to demonstrate the agility and courage of the firefighters. For detailed information about fires in Japan, read Yokohama, 1890s • Dezome-shiki.

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Kobe, 1906 • New Year Celebrations 1

New Year Celebrations

A family cleans the home in advance of the New Year celebrations. Cleaning is a major part of preparing for the New Year as Shinto beliefs place much importance on purity. This image is part of The New Year in Japan, a book published by Kobe-based photographer Kozaburo Tamamura in 1906. Click on Read Full Article to read the original text that accompanied this image.

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