dimanche 12 octobre 2008

Vintage Japan

It's been one year since my last post, and I really feel like writing and sharing things again, so here I go !

Ever since I've been watching japanese anime on tv as a kid, I've been struck by the amazing contrast in that country between strong medieval traditions and over-the-top technological development.

One of the movies that managed to best capture and explain this phenomenon is certainly "The Last Samurai". The character of photographer/reporter Simon Graham, doing his best to catch with his camera a testimony of the last moments of a dying medieval Japan, while at the same time taking pictures that would amaze people in industrialised countries, is a great archetype of "exotic" photographers of this era, like Michael Maslan or Felice Beato.

This fascinating time of change is called the Meiji period (1868-1912), the "Enlightened Rule", and this name would also be given after his death to Emperor Mutsuhito who has been the great bringer of this transformation (more on this guy in a future post).

Here are some of my favorite photographs of the time. There's such a beautiful sense of nostalgia in them... And if you want more, go there for a huge (I mean it!) database. I'm a big fan of the kimono guys wearing bowler hats to follow the latest trend ;) Enjoy !

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