Rare Photos from the Meiji Period Available for Free


WordsManon Baeza

Visitors to the New York Public Library website can now find over one hundred photos dating from the Meiji period (1867-1912). This era saw a movement from the feudal system towards a more industrial one. Because of this, these photos have great historic value.

It’s a real step back in time: the viewer discovers the first key moments captured of Japan becoming westernised. The first cameras didn’t arrive in Japan until later, so these precious moments were photographed by tourists.

These colour photos are reminiscent of Japanese prints. Sumo wrestling, Geisha drinking tea, temples: these images reveal a historic, beautiful picture of Japan.