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Tokyo 1930
Secrets of Green Tea

Do you drink green tea for its health benefits? You can thank Japanese biochemist Michiyo Tsujimura (辻村みちよ, 1888–1969), Japan’s first female doctor of agriculture, seen here at her research institute in Tokyo in 1930 (Showa 5).

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1870s
Oiran Courtesan

An oiran (花魁, high class courtesan) of the yūkaku (遊郭, red light district) of Yoshiwara in Tokyo. Her kimono and hairstyle may be gorgeous, but her life could be harsh.

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1910s
Monkey Trainer

Children observe a traveling monkey trainer and his highly trained Japanese macaque monkey during a sarumawashi (猿回し) performance on a street.

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Tokyo 1890s
Wisteria at Kameido Tenjin

People admiring light purple wisteria from the arched bridge at Kameido Tenjin, a celebrated shinto shrine in Tokyo. Did you know that old Tokyo had flower viewing events every month?

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Yokohama 1900s
Maiko at Japanese Garden

Three maiko (apprentice geisha) posing next to a stone lantern at a Japanese garden. Find out why this garden is so special.

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1920s
Saving Battleship Mikasa

This photo doesn’t really appear special or important. Just a Japanese man wearing glasses posing next to a photo of a ship. But when I dug a little deeper, I discovered something extraordinary.