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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Photography in Japan 1853-1912 • Terry Bennett
Photography in Japan

Terry Bennett has been researching 19th century Japanese photography for over 25 years. In this masterpiece he tells us the story of photography in Japan, using 350 rare images. All the known photographers are introduced with details that you will have trouble finding anywhere else. THE best book about early Japanese photography.


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Osaka 1930s • Central Wholesale Market

Osaka Central Wholesale Market

A panoramic view of the Osaka Central Wholesale Market in Osaka, which played a major role in establishing a stable food market in Osaka and surroundings.

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Yokohama 1910s • Yokohama Pier

70206-0006 - Yokohama Pier

People in Japanese and Western style dress walk on the pier in Yokohama Harbor. A steamship can be seen in the back, spewing black smoke from its smokestack. The red brick building in the back housed the Yokohama Customs Office Inspection Bureau and was built in 1894. It was designed by Japanese architect Yorinaka Tsumaki (1859-1916), who also designed Yokoahama Shokin Ginko (1904) and the famous Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse (1911).

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Tokyo 1890s • Streetcar in Ueno

Ueno Park Hill, Tokyo

This photograph displays Tokyo’s most popular transportation modes during the Meiji Period (1868-1912), horse drawn streetcars and jinrikisha (rickshaws). A small family is stepping out of the streetcar, most probably on their way to visit the new Ueno Park, a favorite attraction during this period.

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