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.
1900s • Ainu Chief An Ainu chief in traditional clothing.
These Photographs were taken in the final days of the samurai class, before its abolition in 1867.It should be noted that some of these photographs date to the Meiji period. Many of these pictures were taken in the 1880's -therefore they show former samurai, or sometimes just ordinary people posing as samurai.
NOTE: The last few pictures seen in this video show Tokugawa Yoshinobu, Japan's last Shogun and the famous reformer, Sakamoto Ryoma, who played a pivotal role in the modernisation of the country.We also see the new Police force(The seated uniformed man with the katana) as well as the last picture which displays the European military reformers and the westernized Japanese officers.Although these aren't samurai, they were added to show the revolutionary changes that were taking place in Japanese society at this time.
Several of these Photographs were taken by the renowned photographer Felice Beato and his pupil, Raimund von Stillfried.