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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1910s • Woman with Fan

Young Woman in Kimono with Fan

A young Japanese woman in kimono and traditional hairstyle is holding a sensu (folding fan). This postcard was published sometime between 1907 and 1918. During the early 20th century, picture postcards of bijin (beautiful women) were extremely popular in Japan.

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Tokyo 1910s • Yoshiwara Prostitutes

Prostitutes

Prostitutes behind a window in the Yukaku (red light district) of Yoshiwara in Tokyo. Prostitutes from less expensive brothels were seated behind wooden latticed windows called harimise (張り見世). As a result of intense international pressure, putting prostitutes on display in harimise was prohibited in 1916.

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1910s • Family in Formal Wear

Japanese Family in Traditional Clothing

Ceremonial Taisho era photo of a family in formal wear for family members’ fiftieth wedding anniversary (金婚記念, kinkon kinen). This photo comes from an album with 9 photographs. The accordion type album is covered in beautiful green textile stamped with golden characters that read kinkon kinen.

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1910s • Family in Formal Wear

Husband, Wife and Baby

Ceremonial Taisho era photo of a family in formal wear for family members’ fiftieth wedding anniversary (金婚記念, kinkon kinen). This photo comes from an album with 9 photographs. The accordion type album is covered in beautiful green textile stamped with golden characters that read kinkon kinen.

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