Old Japan Photos: Back to 100 years ago 明治の日本

After the Japan-U.S. Peace Treaty was signed in 1854, the Japanese government designated Yokohama village as a trading base and expanded the land with landfill. In 1859 Yokohama officially opened her port to the rest of the world and became the business center of Japan. Foreign trade and traders came rushing in. Cameras were one of the things that they brought in. In those days, foreigners were allowed to enter only a few places in Japan, such as Yokohama, Kamakura, Nikko, and parts of Kyoto and Nara. And now we can see such places and Japanese people from those days in these precious old photos.


Yokohama 横浜

Kamakura 鎌倉

Nikko 日光

Kyoto & Nara 京都・奈良

Life of Japan 日本の暮らし

テーマ: 歴史 | ジャンル: 学問・文化・芸術

Ruins of St. Paul’s, Macau, and 4 Japanese Boy Envoys マカオ・聖ポール天主堂跡と天正少年遣欧使節

In 1582, four Japanese boys got a mission and sailed for Europe as the representative of the Japanese Daimyo. They stayed in Macau for 10 months, studying music and language. On the way back to Japan in 1588, they stayed in Macau for 18 months and the record of their experiences in Europe was published there.
Alessandro Valignano (1539-1606), an Italian Jesuit missionary, was appointed Visitor of Missions in the Indies, and visited Japan in 1579. He sent four boys to Europe to highlight the success of the Jesuit’s work in Japan. And also he wanted to show the boys the greatness of Western countries so that the people of Japan would feel the superiority of the Christian world.


The boys were always calm, sincere, and humble, and received high praise in every country they visited. I'm very proud of them as a fellow Japanese.

テーマ: 歴史 | ジャンル: 学問・文化・芸術

The Making of Daibutsu 鎌倉大仏の建立

In this video, I would like to show you how Daibutsu was made.
Kamakura’s Daibutsu is a popular tourist destination one hour from central Tokyo. The making of Daibutsu was a huge project. It took thousands of man-hours over almost 30 years.
By the way, some of the illustrations that I show here are not necessarily images of the making of Daibutsu, but they are from the same period in history.


『鎌倉大仏 東国文化の謎』 清水真澄 有隣新書
『今昔・鉄と鋳物』 塚原茂雄 養賢堂
『鎌倉大仏の中世史』 馬淵和雄 新人物往来社
『鎌倉 古寺を歩く』 松尾剛次 吉川弘文館
『鎌倉時代 その光と影』 上横手雅敬 吉川弘文館
『鎌倉大仏の謎』 塩澤寛樹 吉川弘文館
『鎌倉大仏と阿弥陀信仰』 神奈川県立金沢文庫
『日本の仏像 No.19 高徳院 鎌倉大仏と鎌倉の古仏』 講談社
『週刊朝日百科 日本の歴史 4 中世I』 朝日新聞社
テーマ: 歴史 | ジャンル: 学問・文化・芸術

History of Nikko 日光の歴史

The very first man who went beyond the violent stream of the Daiya River in Nikko and made a successful ascent of Mt. Nantai (2486m) was Priest Shodo. In 767 he built a small temple in Nikko and established a foothold of religious austerities in the mountain. read more


The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum 広島平和記念資料館

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum exhibits many articles remaining from the atomic bombing. It also displays records and photos showing the actual horrors of the bombing.

It was at 8:15 AM on August 6, 1945 that an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. At the moment of explosion, the bomb eliminated intense thermic and radioactive rays. Almost the entire area within 2 km of the hypocenter was completely destroyed.