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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Art And Artifice: Japanese Photographs Of The Meiji Era • Sebastian Dobson, Anne Nishimura Morse, Frederic Sharf
Art And Artifice

A brief introduction to Meiji-era photographs and to the world in which they flourished. Three essays and dozens of images explore the social function of these photos, their remarkable artistry, and the personal stories of those who collected and preserved these images.


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Yokohama 1900s • Tomitake Theater

70130-0017 - Tomitake Theater

Tomitake-tei (富竹亭, Tomitake Hall) on Bashamichi-dori, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, a stone’s throw from Yoshidabashi Bridge. The theater, which was active through 1912 (Taisho 1), was owned by Takejiro Takeuchi (竹内竹次郎), who ran three other yose in Yokohama.

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Kobe 1870s • View from Mount Suwa

80421-0001: View on Kobe

View of eastern Kobe from Mount Suwa during the late 1870s, early 1880s. The foreign settlement is located on the coast just out of the frame on the right.

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Tokyo 1920s • Toyama Firing Range

Toyama Shooting Practice Range

Panoramic view of the Toyama Firing Range (戸山射撃場, Toyama Shagekijo) in Okubo (大久保), Tokyo.

In 1874 (Meiji 7), what was then called Toyamagahara (戸山ヶ原) was requisitioned by the army. A shooting range for the Imperial Guard was established here in 1889 (Meiji 22).

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