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

  • English
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.
Good Book Tip
A Career of Japan: Baron Raimund Von Stillfried and Early Yokohama Photography • Luke Gartlan

A Career of Japan is the first study of one of the major photographers and personalities of nineteenth-century Japan. Baron Raimund von Stillfried was the most important foreign-born photographer of the Meiji era and one of the first globally active photographers of his generation. He played a key role in the international image of Japan and the adoption of photography within Japanese society itself.

Read Full Article
Buy now at Amazon!
More book tips

Good Book Tip:

Art And Artifice: Japanese Photographs Of The Meiji Era

by Sebastian Dobson, Anne Nishimura Morse, Frederic Sharf — MFA Publications
Art And Artifice

A brief introduction to Meiji-era photographs and to the world in which they flourished. Three essays and dozens of images explore the social function of these photos, their remarkable artistry, and the personal stories of those who collected and preserved these images.

The book is designed to resemble the souvenir photo albums that Western visitors to Japan bought during the late 19th century. This is also the basic theme of this book.

The first essay by Frederic Sharf discusses tourist travel to Japan and how it came to flourish during the 1870s and 1880s. This tourism boom encouraged the sale of photographs particularly targeted to these visitors. As most visitors entered Japan through Yokohama this is where many of the early photographers established themselves.

Their photographs have been collectively called Yokohama Shashin (Yokohama photographs). Sebastian Dobson, who covers the trade in these Yokohama Shashin in the second essay, considers well-known photographers and studios like Felice Beato, Baron Raimund von Stillfried-Ratenicz, Kuichi Uchida, Kimbei Kusakabe, Adolfo Farsari, Tong Cheong, the Japan Photographic Association, David Welsh and Kozaburo Tamamura.

The third essay is written by Anne N. Morse and concerns the meisho-e, the age-old Japanese tradition of capturing famous places as practiced during the Meiji Period (1868-1912).

The essays are followed by a spectacular collection of 39 hand-tinted albumen prints and a list providing detailed technical information (photographer, subject of image, date, type of print and size in cm) for each photograph.

This is both a good entry book on Meiji Period Japanese photography as well as a publication for people who already own other books on this subject. Truly well-done.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Your purchase helps me to run this blog.

Posted by • 2008-10-08

Textile help

NOTE: Your e-mail address is required, but will not be displayed.