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:

Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan

by Herbert P Bix — Harper Perennial

This rich and powerful biography is now given fresh relevance with a new introduction by the author that explores how Hirohito’s legacy persists in Japan to this day, and how US foreign policy in the region in the last ten years is informed by its troubled past with Japan and with Hirohito as a ruler specifically.

Trained since childhood to lead his nation as a living deity, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito cultivated the image of a reluctant, detached monarch, a façade which masked a fierce cunning and powerful ambition.

Historian Herbert P. Bix has unearned hundreds of previously untapped documents including the unpublished letters and diaries of Hirohito’s royal court, tracing the key events of his sixty-three-year reign (1926 – 1989), and shedding light on his uniquely active yet self-effacing stewardship.

Debunking the common image of Hirohito as a pawn in the hands of the military, Bix exposes the emperor’s personal involvement in every stage of the Pacific War. With rare insight, he shows how Hirohito avoided punishment for his nation’s defeat and how the Japanese people have struggled to come to terms with this dark chapter in their history.

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Posted by • 2019-08-23
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