In a world where digital cameras and camera phones have become ubiquitous, looking back at a time period when this wasn't the case offers a distinctive insight. "Photography in Japan 1853-1912" is a fascinating book that offers a unique visual record of Japan and its metamorphosis from feudal society to a modern, industrial nation at a time when the art of photography was still in its infancy. This comprehensive and authoritative book begins with the opening of Japan to foreigners in 1853 when Commodore Matthew Perry compelled the reclusive nation to sign a treaty allowing access to Japan for the first time in over 250 years. Reluctantly at first, and then enthusiastically, Japan opened its doors to people and ideas, modernizing at a rate that was, and remains, unprecedented in human society. All of this was captured on camera. The 350 old and rare images in this book, many of them published here for the first time, not only chronicle the introduction of photography in Japan, but also demonstrate that early photographic images of Japan are vital in helping to understand the dramatic changes that occurred in mid-nineteenth century Japan. Taken between 1853 and 1912 by the most important local and foreign photographers working in Japan, the photographic images, whether sensational or everyday, intimate or panoramic, document a nation about to abandon its traditional ways and enter the modern age.
"Writer Bennett crafted this beautiful and educational book from a collection of 350 old and rare images captured by Western photographers. This book offers a glimpse of life in Japan during one of its most dramatic periods in history."--"Shutterbug"