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1890s
Japanese Sweets Shop

A Japanese confectionery shop offering a wide variety of mouth-watering sweets. Notice the space in front of the display boxes. Customers sat here while being served.

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Tokyo 1870s
The Birth of Ginza

Rickshaws on Tokyo’s Ginza avenue in the late 1870s. This intersection, now the location of the luxurious Wako store, was the information center of the Japanese empire.

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Yokohama 1904–1905
Horses at War

Imperial Japanese troops loading horses at Yokohama Port during the Russo-Japanese War (1904–05). Japan deployed some 223,000 horses during the conflict.

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Kobe 1870s
View on Kobe from Mt. Takatori

A beautiful view of a yet very rural Kobe from Mount Takatori (高取山) in the early 1870s. Very soon after the city was opened to foreign trade on January 1, 1868 (Keiō 4). This is Kobe in the cradle.

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Yokohama 1920s
Grandeur at the Grand

Japanese waitresses in kimono stand ready for the tea service in the lounge of Yokohama’s celebrated Grand Hotel, sometime between 1918 and its destruction by the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.

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1880s
Japanese Firefighting

A Japanese firefighting crew (火消組, hikeshigumi) and their tools of the trade. Fires that destroyed whole towns were a common occurrence in old Japan. Over the centuries, countless methods were developed to fight them.