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Series Historical Collection: Speaking to the Future- Photographs - Records and Memories

Series Historical Collection: Speaking to the Future- Photographs - Records and Memories / Honkan Room 16   June 5, 2007 (Tue) - July 1, 2007 (Sun)

  
Members of the Shogunate's First Mission to Europe, By Nadar, Edo period, dated 1862 (Bunkyu 2) (Gift of Mr. Narushima Kenkichi)

Developed in Europe in the first half of the 19th century, photography arrived in Japan shortly after the mid-1850s and was there to witness the fall of the shogunate and collapse of the Edo period (1603-1867). Fascinated with the science and technology behind the picture, the Japanese struggled initially, but eventually succeeded; the first photograph produced in Japan was of Shimazu Nariakira, who was lord of Satsuma fief. Satsuma, located on the westernmost island of Kyushu, was quick to take this achievement as a symbol of modernization, and promptly made efforts to catch up with the West. Based on this, photography spread throughout Japan.

The Museum collection contains thousands of photographs and glass negatives from the late Edo and Meiji periods, including Photo Album of Edo Castle and Photographs from the Cultural Property Survey of 1872. These albums are officially registered as Important Cultural Properties. Recently, old photographs have been reevaluated as research materials and interest from the general public's interest is increasing.

The Museum has published part of the collection as a three volume set catalogue; this, however, is the first large-scale display of photographs from the collection and features scenes of cultural heritage, diplomatic missions, historical figures, industry, the Museum, scenery, and World Expositions.

 Major works in this exhibition

* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
People Related with the Exhibition Held at Yushima Confucian Shrine, 1872 (Meiji 5)
Photo Album of Edo Castle, Compiled by Ninagawa Noritane, 1871 (Meiji 4) (Important Cultural Property)
Members of the Shogunate's First Mission to Europe, By Nadar, Edo period, dated 1862 (Bunkyu 2) (Gift of Mr. Narushima Kenkichi)