In 1908 German-born American Arnold Genthe (1869-1942) was on a 6-month visit to Japan. Armed with his camera, Genthe recorded life during the Meiji period. Just two years earlier, Genthe’s studio in San Francisco (opened in 1898) was destroyed in the huge earthquake and fire of 1906. Genthe, who surveyed the ruins with the actress Sarah Bernhard, had secured his photos in a bank vault, which meant that they survived the carnage. He rebuilt his studio and then made his trip out east.