The first camera entered Japan in 1848, but it was only after the establishment of diplomatic relations with western powers in the mid-1850s that photography spread as a commercial enterprise. Westerners and Japanese alike opened studios in port cities, where they hawked images of famous landmarks and “types” to tourists and a growing foreign population. These “types” accorded with western expectations of “authentic” Japanese clothing and customs that were often at odds with the contemporary government’s policy of rapid and wholesale modernization.


  • Title: Women Eating
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1865/1875
  • Physical Dimensions: 8 1/8 x 10 5/8 in.
  • Provenance: Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, Gift of the Wellesley College Art Department Slide Library, 1983.24.95
  • Rights: Davis Museum at Wellesley College
  • External Link: Davis Museum at Wellesley College
  • Medium: Albumen print

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