Kusakabe Kimbei’s Photographs of Late 19th-Century Japan

Kusakabe Kimbei
Samurai in Armour

In 1881, after working for many years with the European photographers Felice Beato and Baron Raimund von Stillfried as a photographic colourist and assistant, the Japanese photographer Kusakabe Kimbei finally opened his own workshop in the Benten-dōri quarter of Yokohama. He’d soon establish himself as one of the most respected and successful Japanese photographers of his generation, opening another studio in Yokohama’s Honmachi quarter in 1889, and also a branch in the Ginza quarter of Tokyo. The selection here is from the collection held by The Getty in Los Angeles, focusing mostly on work from the early part of Kimbei’s career.

See more hand-coloured photographs of 19th-century Japan in a previous post here, including images by Felice Beato.

The Getty
Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: No Additional Rights
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Kusakabe Kimbei
Playing Samisen, Tsudzumi, Fuye and Taiko


Kusakabe Kimbei
Flower Kept Alive by Putting in Water


Kusakabe Kimbei
Woman with Parasol Posed Being Pulled in a Jinrikisha by a Man Wearing a Straw Rain Coat


Kusakabe Kimbei
Street Amazake Seller


Kusakabe Kimbei
Fire Man


Kusakabe Kimbei
Wrestlers


Kusakabe Kimbei
Kago Travelling Chair


Kusakabe Kimbei
Girls Carrying Paper Lantern in Winter Evening


Kusakabe Kimbei
Home Bathing


Kusakabe Kimbei
Dancing Party


Kusakabe Kimbei
Seated Woman


Kusakabe Kimbei
Woman Reclining with Pipe


Kusakabe Kimbei
Umbrella Maker


Kusakabe Kimbei
Group of Young Women