Japanese historical photographs ca. 1910
June 7, 2007 2:43 PM   Subscribe

A nice set of photographic glass-plate transparencies depicting life in Japan ca. 1910. These "Yokohama photographs" were sold to foreign tourists between about 1868 and 1912. I found the Crafts and Trades section most interesting.
posted by Rumple (18 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
It is unfortunate there are no captions for the photos, leading one to guess what is going on.
posted by Rumple at 2:44 PM on June 7, 2007

Amazing. Thanks.
posted by hoskala at 2:49 PM on June 7, 2007

Wow. Also, I find it entertaining that this is in "landscapes and wildlife".
posted by No-sword at 3:15 PM on June 7, 2007

Wow indeed. Terrific stuff.
posted by languagehat at 3:18 PM on June 7, 2007

Great find, rumple! Great stuff! Bookmarked.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:43 PM on June 7, 2007

The more I peruse this collection the more impressed I am. This guy was a masterful photo-documentarian, with an eye for the beauty and importance of the everyday. These photos are just so perfectly representative of the daily activities of ordinary people, farmers, artists and craftsmen, that even when some of the shots have a bit of a staged feel, they're still so real. So informative. And often very artful. Love the hand-tinting, too, it's very well done. Thanks again, Rumple.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:54 PM on June 7, 2007

awesome. The vision of a nation of craftsmen, shopkeepers, and laborers creating and trading wealth between each other warms the cockles of this wannabe-minarchist's heart.

The owners of this shop could have realized an immense profit for the descendents by stashing their salesstock in a cave for 100 years -- boom, instant antique store.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:25 PM on June 7, 2007

Color pix in 1910. I doubt it.
posted by Xurando at 6:14 PM on June 7, 2007

Xurando - they are hand tinted. See here..

I just found this nice collection as well. Wonderful B&W pictures from ca. 1870s Japan.
posted by Rumple at 6:23 PM on June 7, 2007

posted by louche mustachio at 7:04 PM on June 7, 2007

Very lovely. Nice find.

Except ... needs more ninjas.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 7:13 PM on June 7, 2007

Great post. The lack of artificial lighting is always so obvious in old interior shots lending a very 'realistic' and moment-in-time look. The craftsmen in their daily work and the photographer in that moment are both limited to using what we call "ambient" light and they probably called either "sunlight" or just "light".
posted by scheptech at 7:27 PM on June 7, 2007

Very nice indeed.
posted by lundman at 7:40 PM on June 7, 2007

When they say color tinting does this mean that someone colored the photos by hand? If so, someone is really good at matching the colors. Example: http://gateway.uvic.ca/spcoll/Digit/Geddes/images/HGSCANS/SC045_HG_01_004_2.JPG
posted by zymurgy at 10:12 PM on June 7, 2007

A photoblog of daily life in Japan? Burn him!
posted by sourwookie at 12:34 AM on June 8, 2007

A photoblog of daily life in Japan? Burn him!

Heh. The difference, of course, is that the Geddes photos are exquisite, and the other ones are shite not.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:50 AM on June 8, 2007

Getting a page access is restricted message
posted by zeoslap at 7:29 AM on June 8, 2007

Thanks zeoslap. Page is back up now.

zymurgy - my understanding is that glass slides like these were literally hand-tinted using paintbrushes and (usually for glass) oilpaints. Very labour intensive, but with skill and practice, quite quick. Wikipedia. Similar skillset as handpainting ceramics, for example. it would be nicely meta if one of these slides showed the handpainting of slides...
posted by Rumple at 11:07 AM on June 8, 2007

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