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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Kyoto 1926 • Kamo River

Kamo River and Shimogyou-ku, Kyoto

The Kamo river and the area around Shijo bridge in Kyoto, Japan. The photo is taken from Higashiyama-ku facing south towards Shimogyo-ku. Seen from this vantage point, the area still looks remarkably similar today.

The building being built is the Yaomasa (now called Tokasaikan). It was designed by US born architect William Merrell Vories (1880-1964) and finished in 1926, which effectively dates this photograph. The building still stands and now houses a restaurant.

US born architect William Merrell Vories, who also designed such famous buildings as the Daimaru Shinsaibashi Department Store (1922-1933), Kwansei Gakuin University (1929) and Osaka Medical College (1930), came to Japan in 1905 (Meiji 38) as an English teacher in the Hachiman Commercial High School in Shiga. He was a very active Christian and supported his many social action programs with an architect’s office and a drug company.

Vories was incredibly active. By the time he died, his company had constructed 1,091 buildings and he had prepared 392 designs for others to use.1

1 Lyon, William H (March 2003). An American in Japan: William Merrell Vories (Hitotsuyanagi), 1905-1964, Doshisha Amerika Kenkyu: 37-60

Photographer: Unknown
Publisher: Tahaka&Co
Medium: Postcard
Image Number 70126-0010

Quote this number when you contact us about licensing this image.
You can also licence this image online: 70126-0010 @ MeijiShowa.com.

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Usage of this image requires a reproduction fee.
Posted by • 2008-01-01
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