help save Japan’s visual heritage of daily life
70221-0003 - Japanese Family in Traditional Clothing Having Tea

Drinking Tea

Artist Unknown
Publisher Unknown
Medium Postcard
Period Meiji
Location Outside
Image No. 70221-0003
Purchase Digital File

What a wonderful and relaxed scene. Three women and two small kids, all wearing traditional clothing, having a welcome tea break at the engawa1 (veranda) of a thatched house.

The women’s clothing does not seem to be the working wear for these farm women. Perhaps this was a small social gathering of neighbourhood women for tea rather than a break during a day of hard work. Or perhaps they changed clothes for the photographer.

Nonetheless, the pile of fire wood seems to imply that these moments of rest were rare. Life was hard for farm women, and they worked long days, both at home and out in the fields.


1 An engawa (縁側 or 掾側) is a veranda, either partly inside the building or completely exposed.


Leave a Comment

Reader Supported

Old Photos of Japan aims to be your personal museum for Japan's visual heritage and to bring the experiences of everyday life in old Japan to you.

To enhance our understanding of Japanese culture and society I track down, acquire, archive, and research images of everyday life, and give them context.

I share what I have found for free on this site, without ads or selling your data.

Your support helps me to continue doing so, and ensures that this exceptional visual heritage will not be lost and forgotten.

Thank you,
Kjeld Duits


Reference for Citations

Duits, Kjeld (). 1910s: Drinking Tea, OLD PHOTOS of JAPAN. Retrieved on December 11, 2023 (GMT) from

Explore More


Studio, 1880s
The Way of the Kiseru

A Japanese farmer holds a kiseru (煙管). The tiny pipe offered only two to three puffs, yet it reigned for over three centuries. It was embraced by all classes of Japanese society, even crossing gender boundaries.


Doctor Taking Pulse

A bald-headed doctor is taking a patient’s pulse. During the Edo (1603-1868) and early Meiji Period (1868-1912), Japanese physicians shaved heir heads.


Japanese Firefighting

A Japanese firefighting crew (火消組, hikeshigumi) and their tools of the trade. Fires that destroyed whole towns were a common occurrence in old Japan. Over the centuries, countless methods were developed to fight them.

Add Comment

There are currently no comments on this article.