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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A Career of Japan: Baron Raimund Von Stillfried and Early Yokohama Photography • Luke Gartlan

A Career of Japan is the first study of one of the major photographers and personalities of nineteenth-century Japan. Baron Raimund von Stillfried was the most important foreign-born photographer of the Meiji era and one of the first globally active photographers of his generation. He played a key role in the international image of Japan and the adoption of photography within Japanese society itself.


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Hakone 1890s • Three Women in Bath

Three Women Taking a Bath

Two women are squatting next to a bath, while a third sits in the water. This is the same gorgeous onsen resort in Hakone as shown in Hakone 1880s • Two Women in Bathroom. See that article for detailed information.

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1890s • Women Dressing

Women Dressing

A woman sitting on her knees is helping another woman, who is holding a sash, to put on a kimono. The sash will be used to tie the kimono together, after which the obi can be applied.

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Osaka 1920s • Shinsaibashi Bridge

Shinsaibashi Bridge

The Shinsaibashi Bridge in Osaka’s Minami district sometime during the 1920s. The Bridge was named after Shinsai Okada, one of four merchants who dug the Nagahori canal that flowed below the bridge. This image shows the stone bridge which in 1909 (Meiji 42) replaced the steel bridge built in 1873 (Meiji 6). For a photo of the steel bridge, and the history of Shinsaibashi Bridge, see Osaka 1890s • Shinsaibashi Bridge.

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