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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Tokyo 1920s • Tokyo Station

Tokyo 1920s: Tokyo Station
Tokyo Station
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Located in the Marunouchi business district of Tokyo, near the Imperial Palace grounds and the Ginza commercial district, Tokyo Station was designed by architect Tatsuno Kingo to celebrate Japan’s victory in the Russo-Japanese War. Unfortunately, the beautiful domes and the top floor were destroyed during fire-bombings on May 25 and June 25, 1945.

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Osaka 1890s • Shitennoji Temple

Osaka 1880s: Shitennoji Temple

Shitennoji Temple in Osaka was founded by Prince Shotoku Taishi (574-622) in 593 during Japan’s first wave of temple construction. It is one of Japan’s oldest Buddhist temples and is dedicated to the four directional guardians (Shitenno). The inhabitants of Osaka call the temple lovingly “Tennoji-san,” the way you’d address a person.

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Osaka 1890s • Shinsaibashi Bridge

Osaka 1880s: Shinsaibashi Bridge
Shinsaibashi Today
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Shinsaibashi (Shinsai bridge) in Osaka, Japan. View towards North Osaka. The area across the bridge was famous for its many book shops. The large buildings in the back are the Buddhist temples Kita Mido and Minami Mido. The Western building on the left is the telegraph branch office.

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