【Exhibition】 History of Japanese Early Photography: Kantō Region. Images of Japan, 1853-1912. Tokyo Photographic Art Museum. March 3 – May 24, 2020.
“History of Japanese Early Photography: Kantō District” is part of an ongoing series of exhibitions at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum that introduce early photographic technology and history through in-depth explorations of how photography entered Japan and developed in different regions.
As a special service to overseas visitors, there will be guided tours in English on Thursday March 19, 6 pm; Tuesday April 21, 11 am; Thursday May 21, 4 pm. Free with regular museum admission; no reservation needed.
This exhibition focuses on early photographic culture as it developed in the Kantō region in 19th century Japan. It provides easy-to-understand explanations of long replaced technologies for producing physical photographic images while also exploring the photographic culture that swept into Japan along with the opening of treaty ports.
Highlights include one of the earliest photographs ever taken of Sumo wrestlers; a panorama photograph taken from Atago-yama showing what Edo looked like to the first foreigners able to visit what was then the largest city in the world; and the first aerial photograph ever taken in Japan – of Tokyo, from a military balloon!
Tokyo Station under construction, by Miyauchi Kōtarō (1911), gelatin silver print, Collection of Yokosuka City Museum.
The exhibition also presents photographic portraits made in the earliest photographic studios in Japan, including a work by Ukai Gyokusen, the first Japanese to open a commercial photography studio. It introduces the first photographers to open studios in various locations in the Kantō district along with examples of their work.
Through original prints and negative plates as well as photographic equipment, tools and more, this exhibition provides a fascinating and multifaceted overview of the early photographic culture that took root in Japan during the Bakumatsu period and burst into flower during the Meiji period.
Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
History of Japanese Early Photography: Kantō Region. Images of Japan, 1853-1912.
Period: March 3 – May 24, 2020.
Venue: Tokyo Photographic Art Museum. Yebisu Garden Place, 1-13-3 Mita Meguro-ku Tokyo
Hours: 10:00-18:00. *(20:00 on Thursdays and Fridays). Last entry 30 minutes before closing. Hours for the first-floor hall vary by program.
Closed: Closed on Mondays, except May 4.
Admission: Adults – 700 (560) yen; university – 600 (480) yen; high school and junior high school students, seniors 65 and over – 500 (400) yen. Prices in parentheses apply to groups of 20 or more. Admission is free for elementary-school children or younger; junior high school students living or attending schools in the Tokyo metropolitan area, holders of Japan’s disability identification cards. Those aged 65 or over are admitted free on the third Wednesday of each month.
More details at http://topmuseum.jp/e/contents/upcoming/index.html