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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Japan: 100 years ago

It’s been almost 2 months since I last posted here on my blog – and even then it wasn’t much of a post! As I mentioned then, I don’t really have time to be updating so often… BUT I came across these lovely Japanese postcards at the weekend and bookmarked them to share – they are too good not to.

This set of colour postcards, all issued in the first decades of the 20th century, show a different pre-war Japan. The signs of technological progress are everywhere: overhead power, telegraph or telephone lines, utility poles with multiple arms, trolley cars, steam boats, huge cranes, steel bridges, factories, and modern office buildings are all part of Japan’s cityscapes. And the visual effect of these coloured postcards make me feel like I might understand where the best Japanese anime movies have their roots. Gizmodo


I’ve now delved into the original source of the images – New York Public Library’s digital collection of Pacific Pursuits: Postcards – and spent some time admiring even more stunning scenes from early 20th century Japan.

Those that Gizmodo picked out are great and certainly do show Japan making their technological advancements but I love those that show a more traditional Japan as well. I’ve picked out some that show places that I’ve been to myself, alongside some places that I haven’t but would love to visit. In contrast to the other images, these places do still look like this – temples, shrines, castles etc. It is, afterall, the traditional side of Japan that I love more than anything else.

Those that I’ve been to…
Maybe next time…

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