||Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre introduces the daguerreotype, the first commercially successful photographic process.
||Ueno Shunnojo, a Nagasaki merchant and the father of photographer Ueno Hikoma, imports the first daguerreotype camera to Japan through the Dutch trading post on Deshima, an artificial island in Nagasaki Bay.
||Accompanying U. S. Navy Commodore Matthew Perry on his expedition to Japan as official photographer, Eliphalet Brown Jr. takes more than 400 daguerreotype portraits and views, of which only six can be accounted for today.
||The treaty ports of Yokohama, Nagasaki, and Hakodate open to foreign trade and residence. The following year, American photographer Orrin Freeman arrives in Yokohama where he opens the first commercial studio in Japan.
||Ukai Gyokusen, a samurai, learns photography from Orrin Freeman, purchases Freeman’s equipment, and opens a studio in Edo (Tokyo) in 1860 or 1861, becoming Japan’s first professional photographer. Around this time, Julia Brown, the daughter of American missionary Samuel Brown, becomes probably the first female photographer in Japan. She and her father are credited with giving lessons to Shimooka Renjo, one of Japan’s most famous early photographers. Shimooka opens his first studio in Yokohama in 1862.
||Felice (Felix) Beato arrives in Yokohama where he will remain for the next 20 years becoming the most famous – and recognized by many as the best – Western photographer in Japan. Although 1863 newspaper advertisements suggest British photographer William Saunders may have been the first to hand color photographs in Japan, Beato’s hand-colored landscape views, genre works, and studio portraits establish a precedent that influences many photographers during the Meiji period (1868-1912).
||With the end of the Tokugawa shogunate and the restoration of imperial rule in Japan, Emperor Meiji initiates a period of modernization that results in an extraordinary transformation to Japan’s social, political, economic, and military structure.
7th shogun's temple gate, Shiba Park, photographer unidentified, olvwork553597
||Austrian photographer Baron Raimund von Stillfried opens his studio in Yokohama in August and the following year takes illicit photographs of Emperor Meiji, before Uchida Kuichi takes the first official portraits of the Emperor and Empress.
||Suzuki Shinichi (1855-1912) travels to San Francisco to apprentice with I. W. Tabor, becoming the first Japanese photographer to study abroad.
||Regarded as an originator of Yokohama shashin or Yokohama-style photographs, Tamamura Kozaburo moves from Tokyo to Yokohama and establishes one of the most successful commercial studios of the era selling hand-colored photographs for the tourist market.
Woman in basket palanquin and two carriers, Tamamura Kozaburo (b. 1856), olvwork477020
||After buying out Stillfried and Anderson, Adolfo Farsari opens his first studio in Yokohama. A year later, a fire destroys his studio and stock, including original glass negatives by Felice Beato and Baron Raimund von Stillfried.
||Ogawa Kazumasa accompanies American art historian and educator Ernest Fenollosa on a tour of Nikko to photograph the region’s art and the following year he launches the art magazine Kokka. Along with Scottish photographer W. K. Burton, he also founds the Nihon Shashin Kyokai (the Photographic Society of Japan), the first amateur photography organization in Japan.
||Adolfo Farsari leaves Japan and returns to Italy, leaving British photographer David Welsh as the owner of the only foreign studio in Japan, which he closes in 1892.
||After studying under Ogawa Kazumasa for five years, T. Enami (the trade name for Enami Nobukuni) opens a studio in Yokohama near Tamamura Kozaburo’s studio. A prolific and underrated photographer, Enami becomes the only Meiji era photographer to successfully work in all of the popular formats for tourists, including hand-colored prints in souvenir albums, lantern slides, and stereographs.
||Boston publisher J. B. Millet Company commissions Tamamura Kozaburo to produce what eventually becomes more than one million hand-colored albumen prints for illustrating the multi-volume Japan: Described and Illustrated by the Japanese, edited by Captain Francis Brinkley and issued in no less than 16 different editions between 1897 and 1898.
Japanese women picking tea leaves, with Mount Fuji in the distance, Attributed to Tamamura Kozaburo (b. 1856), olvwork537880
||World traveler and lecturer E. Burton Holmes becomes the first to use a motion picture camera in Japan.
||Picture postcards (e-hagaki) are introduced in Japan and professional photographers begin producing them for tourists using many of the same photographs they used for souvenir albums.
||American sailor Karl Lewis, a self-taught photographer, opens the last Western commercial studio of the Meiji period in Yokohama. The studio closes in 1917 but Lewis remains in Japan until his death in 1942, shortly after being arrested as a suspected American spy.
||A student at Harvard College, Ernest Goodrich Stillman travels to Japan aboard the S.S. Manchuria. Also on board are then U.S. Secretary of War William Howard Taft and a large party of Congressmen, Senators, and businessmen on a diplomatic mission to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Katsura Taro. Like many notable New England Americans before him – including Charles Longfellow, Ernest Fenollosa, and Isabella Stewart Gardner – the trip inspires a lifelong interest in collecting Japanese art, books, and photographs. He later donates his collection to Harvard.
||The Emperor Meiji dies.
Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Kusakabe Kimbei (1841-1932), olvwork537853
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