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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Felice Beato: A Photographer on the Eastern Road • Anne Lacoste, Fred Ritchin

Felice Beato (1832–1909) lived and worked in Japan from 1863 through 1884, just as the country opened its doors to the world. He was extremely active in Japan, and portrayed the Japanese with dignity and as equals of Westerners. He was the first photographer in Japan to sell albums of his works. Most likely, it was Beato that introduced the later so diligently followed concept of “views” and “types” to photography of Japan.


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Tokyo ca 1885 • Shinbashi Bridge, Ginza

Ginza, Tokyo

A view on the Shinbashi (also Shimbashi) bridge and Ginza avenue in Tokyo by Kozaburo Tamamura (1856-19??), sometime between 1882 and 1899. The wooden bridge over the Shiodomegawa (Shiodome River) was replaced with an iron bridge in April 1899.

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Kyoto 1890s • San-mon Gate at Chionin

Sanmon Gate at Chionin, Kyoto

View on the San-mon main gate and a stone bridge at Chionin buddhist temple in the Higashiyama district in Kyoto, Japan.

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1890s • Vegetable Vendor

Vegetable Vendor

Studio portrait of a vegetable vendor. The vendor is wearing a bamboo hat and straw raincoat. He carries a pole with baskets filled with vegetables like Japanese radish, lotus roots, Welsh onions, burdocks, onions and carrots.

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1890s • Hairdresser

Hairdresser

A woman dressed in a kimono and facing a mirror has her hair done by a hairdresser. On the floor are tools for hairdressing, especially combs. Many different kinds of combs were used in Japanese hairdressing.

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