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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Good Book Tip
Geisha: Women of Japan's Flower & Willow World • Tina Skinner, Mary L. Martin
Geisha: Women of Japan's Flower & Willow World

Over 500 beautiful photographs and postcards, mostly of between 1900 and 1940, take you back to Japan’s now-extinct licensed pleasure districts. You will keep opening up this book again and again. A beauty!

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1930s • Two Sisters

Two Young Girls

Two sisters. Hand tinted Showa period photograph of the late 1930s from the Hanaya Kanbei Studio in Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture. These two cute girls are actually this famed photographer’s daughters.

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Osaka 1930s • Naniwa Bridge

Naniwabashi, Osaka

Naniwa Bridge in Osaka, Japan. The bridge spans the Old Yodo River and was completed in 1915. Naniwa Bridge was, and still is, well known for its lampposts and stone statues of lions. It featured impressive stone steps leading to Nakanoshima Island and Nakanoshima Park. It still stands and is one of the oldest Western style bridges in Japan.

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Yokohama 1910s • Yoshidamachi-dori

Yoshidamachi, Yokohama
Yoshida-cho, Yokohama
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People pass by shops on a quiet Yoshidamachi-dori. On the right is a drug store advertising goodies like Chujoto women’s herbal supplement tea, bedbug extermination and industrial use chemicals. Sounds like a fun store to visit. Although quiet on this postcard, Yoshidamachi-dori was actually perfectly located and a popular street to go shopping.

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1930s • Woman with Modern Hairdo

Young Japanese Woman
Young Japanese Woman in Harajuku, Tokyo
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A confident young Japanese woman in modern dress and hairdo during the early Showa Period (1926-1989). Japanese women first started to experiment with Western fashion during the Meiji Period (1868-1912). By the 1920s, the trendy moga (modern girl) sporting the latest Western fashion and short fashionable hairstyles, had made her entry. (Inset shows current Japanese hairstyle).

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