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

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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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Good Book Tip
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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Good Book Tip:

Conflicts of Interest: Art and War in Modern Japan

by Philip Hu et al — University of Washington Press

This fascinating publication showcases the Saint Louis Art Museum’s collection of Japanese military prints and related materials―one of the largest collections of such works in the world.

The 1,400 objects in the collection are mostly color woodblock prints, but the holdings also include paintings, lithographs, photographs, stereographs, books, magazines, maps, game boards, textiles, ceramics, toys, sketchbooks, and commemorative materials.

This extraordinary body of visual works chronicles Japan’s rise as a modern nation from the beginning of the Meiji Restoration in 1868 through the aftermath of Pearl Harbor in 1942, with a focus on the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars.

Conflicts of Interest will bring to light an important aspect of Japan’s visual culture and the narratives it circulated for its citizens, allies, and enemies on the world stage.

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Posted by • 2019-08-23
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