Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Old Photos of Japan

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

Are you interested in the mystique, magic and enigma of old Japan? I certainly am. I love things that represent old Japan: art, furniture, culture, bonsai and photography.

The photography of old Japan is usually the part that leaves me quite unsatisfied as, since Japan was such a poor country, and generally closed to the west for centuries, there aren't that many quality old photos representing Japan from the 1800's... Or so I thought!

Today, I'd like to introduce you to a wonderful web site that I stumbled upon yesterday called Old Photos of Japan. It is a fantastic cornucopia of photos from a bygone era that will keep you enthralled with the quality of the work and the artistic intention.

From the homepage:

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. 

Old Photos of Japan includes work by some of the better known western photographers of the era like Adolfo Farsari and many many more that were completely new to me like Julian Cochrane's very early work from the turn of the century.

Old Photos of Japan is a wonderful online vacation and time trip back to a day long gone past. Please, when you have time, go click on the site and adventure. It might make us all long for a time when life wasn't so rush rush and in a hurry. Old Photos of Japan is a wonderful web site that is like a dream vacation online.

Old Photos of Japan web page.

Also, if you wish to see much more from Adolfo Farsari, please click here.

Keywords: photo, photography, photographs, old Japan, adolfo farsari,


Andy "In Japan" said...

Speaking of marketing, despite being very poor back then, Japanese women seem to have a tradition of taking care to present themselves beautifully. Check out the photos Mike posted and look at the women, their styles, and way of presenting themselves. To me, this close attention to appearance and beauty is a form of marketing, though I don't mean it in an insulting or commercial way. Just this past weekend I had the occasion to visit Sendai, the biggest city in Japan's northern (Tohoku) area. Just as I noticed in the other prosperous large cities through Japan, the women there maintain the tradition of dressing and making themselves beautiful. You will never see jogging pants or frumpy housewear. Maybe Mike can post a link to a photo album of modern day Japanese women and their styles. I guarantee, it would be interesting. Very, very, interesting.

mikeintokyorogers said...


Great idea. I live in Futakotamagawa. Across from the station is a Takashimaya department store and everyday it is full of beautiful young (and older) women.

Setagaya is a bit upper class so guys with money married all the beautiful women (we guys who have no money all know this to be true!) so there's tons of them around here...

I wonder how I could sneak their photos besides just staring at them?

Andy "In Japan" said...

I thought guys were supposed to make an exception for their own wives when saying that the rich guys got all of the beautiful women:). But you bring up another topic that I have thought about often in Japan. Namely, the staring, or lack thereof by Japanese men. I swear, If these women were walking around looking this gorgeous in America the men would be tripping all over themselves. But here, I feel like I am the only one who is looking, despite my best efforts at not ogling of course. Question: Do Japanese men hide the staring or do they just have the will power to keep eyes straight ahead? No bad jokes about eye shape please.

mikeintokyorogers said...

Andy, I think the Japanese guys look but people in this culture are much more reserved and, for lack of a better term, shy than westerners.

Even with the guys, if they see someone of the opposite sex that they like, they try to act like they don't really notice...

I mean, as God's gift to women, I used to wonder why the ladies never looked at me when I walked through town.

Weird, eh? Chuckle! ;)