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About Us


your personal museum for Japan’s visual heritage

We collect and protect Japan’s visual heritage of everyday life between the 1850s and 1960s. Since 2007, we have acquired, scanned and researched many thousands of rare vintage images.

70208-0010 - Pagoda at Kiyomizu, Kyoto, 1890s

Our Collection

Albumen and other prints, stereoviews, glass slides, negatives, postcards, illustrations, ukiyoe, posters, books, newspapers, magazines, advertising flyers, maps, paper money, more.

71005-0005 - Bronze Ware Craftsman N. Nogawa, Kyoto, 1890s

Our Focus

Images that show historical and social context. Our main focus is everyday life, such as customs, people at work, street views, architecture, clothing, and so on.

1910 Map of Ginza in Tokyo

Our Research

We use old maps, primary documents, and published sources. Many articles feature contemporary maps with marked locations, and a link to a Google Map to see the place today.

our mission

Safeguard and share Japan’s visual heritage of everyday life

70302-0006 - Japanese School Girls Doing Martial Arts

Open + Safe

We don’t charge for access, sell user data, run ads, or track you. We rely on licensing, selling art prints, and the generosity of individual supporters. If you can, please consider supporting us.

71005-0007 - Isezakicho, Theater Street, Yokohama

Since 2007

Old Photos of Japan was launched by Kjeld Duits, the founder of DUITS, a boutique journalism and stock photography agency in Tokyo. Japan has been his home since 1982.

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if you can, please consider supporting Old Photos of Japan