26 Sensational Color Photos Of 1890s Meiji Japan

No one knows who took these superb hand-colored albumen prints of Japan in the 1890s.

Drawing Water from the Well, Japan, 1890s

In the 1850s Japan permitted Western barbarians to trade in its ports for the first time in an age. The weird foreigners were corralled in zones of tolerance, unable to roam freely and kept apart from the Japanese. Over the next decades, Westerners would gain more access, exporting images of the warriors, traders, famers and geishas to an intrigued audience back home. Before the 19th Century was out, the feudal period in Japan ended with the Meiji Restoration. After eight centuries of military leadership, the sumurai class was officially abolished. Japan lowered its fans and revealed a country rich and life and culture.

No one knows who took these superb hand-colored albumen prints of Japan in the 1890s. But thanks to the New York Public Library, we can see them today.

Carrying rice-bales to market, Japan

Spectacle (bridge) at Otani, Kioto, Japan

Takaboko Nagasaki, Japan

Japan farmer 1890

Akasaka, Tokyo, Japan, vintage

Fire Brigade, Japan, 1890

Shiraitono-Taki (A Waterfall) near Fuji Mountain, Japan

Shiraitono-Taki (A Waterfall) near Fuji Mountain

Matsushima, Inland Sea, Japan

The Sleeping Girls Japan 1980

Tokaido Japan 1890s

Nunobiki Waterfall, at Kobe

Meiji Japan photos

Bronze Horse Temple Nagasaki

Matsushima Inland Sea

Tea-Yard at Uzi, Yamashiro

The Farmer Planting the Rice Sprouts, Japan, 1890

Meiji Japan woman and baby

meiji Japan rice farmers

Hancing Bridge (Near Fuji), Japan

Waterfall, Yumoto

Theatre Street, Yokohama

Miyajima, Aki, Japan

Kago Travelling Chair

Matsushima, Inland Sea Japan

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