From 1619 to 1859, the Netherlands became Japan’s only western trading partner. In 1862, Antoon Bauduin (1820-1885) was appointed by the Japanese to run and teach at a hospital in Nagasaki. For his personal pleasure, Bauduin took portraits and stereo views of many people he met there, including fellow physicians, students, friends and acquaintances, samurai in full armour and scenes around the city.
After working in Nagasaki for four years, he moved to Osaka and then Tokyo. Pictures of his farewell party show the Japanese custom of sending off esteemed guests with great fanfare.
It was only by good fortune that Antoon Bauduin’s photographs escaped destruction in a house fire. Luckily, they were saved and restored. They offer us a glimpse of Japan just as it was opening up its borders, revealing traditions in a changing landscape.
In 2016, Bauduin’s heirs transferred some 750 photographs to the Nagasaki University library and donated another set of 121 to the Rijksmuseum.
Would you like to support Flashbak?
Please consider making a donation to our site. We don't want to rely on ads to bring you the best of visual culture. You can also support us by signing up to our Mailing List. And you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For great art and culture delivered to your door, visit our shop.