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.
Recent Comments  
  • Kjeld Duits


  • Jinpachi

    so beautiful!!!!! the white Obi looks like cotton…? I want to have same Kimono and Obi !! light …

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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Tokyo 1934 • Modern Obi

Japan. Tokyo. Girls Wearing Kimono and Obi. Hair Dressed in Modern Style; School Girl in Middy Suit and Hat. (May 1934)

This photo, taken in Tokyo in May 1934, shows two girls wearing a kimono, and two more girls wearing western style clothes, one of them a middy suit and a hat. The girl with her back towards the photographer is wearing an obi (the beautifully decorated sash used to tie the kimono) which must have been quite modern at the time.

Middy suits originated in Great Britain in the second half of the 19th century. Based on naval suits, they became extremely popular with children during the 1880s. Until then, children had been dressed in very complicated adult clothing, so they loved the freedom of movement they had in the new suits. Later, young women took to the middy suit as well, and the suits were eventually seen all over the world, including Japan.

This glass slide is one of a series of slides of Japan that was used by the New York State Education Department to teach students about Japan.

Photographer: Unknown
Publisher: New York State Education Department
Medium: Glass Slide
Image Number 80121-0002

Quote this number when you contact us about licensing this image.
You can also licence this image online: 80121-0002 @ MeijiShowa.com.

Usage of this image requires a reproduction fee.
Reference for Citations

Duits, K. (2008, October 15). Tokyo 1934 • Modern Obi, Old Photos of Japan. Retrieved on 2021, Jun 19 from https://www.oldphotosjapan.com/photos/433/modern-obi

Posted by • 2008-10-15
Add Comment

so beautiful!!!!!
the white Obi looks like cotton…?
I want to have same Kimono and Obi !!
light blue and green check patern… soooo cute!

thank you for upload !

#000284 · Jinpachi · 2008-10-16


#000285 · Kjeld Duits (author) · 2008-10-16

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