Photography arrived in Japan early. The equipment to produce daguerreotypes — images etched on copper plates coated with silver — was introduced via the Dutch trading port of Dejima in the late 1840s, a decade after its invention in France.

In these pre-modern times, however, technology spread comparatively slowly and it was only after Japanese ports were opened to foreign trade and settlement, particularly those of Yokohama and Nagasaki in 1859, that photography took off.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.