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HomeContentsVisual indexes > Utagawa, Yoshikazu (active 1848-1863, artist)

Utagawa, Yoshikazu (active 1848-1863, artist) 
[Early foreign photographer in Yokohama] 
Japanese color woodblock 
9 3/4 x 13 3/4 ins 
Internet - Original source ill-defined - Antipodean Books, 29-31 Garrison's Landing, Garrison NY 10524, Item #21770, Accessed; 14 March 2019 
A Japanese color wood block print of a western photographer bending over his large camera, with other westerners, set in a studio in Yokohama, Japan. The print is a Yokohama-e ("Yokohama pictures”) in the genre known as ukiyo-e ("pictures of the floating world"). The Yokohama-e are Japanese woodblock prints depicting foreigners and scenes in Yokohama; while ukiyo-e is a genre of paintings and prints depicting the everyday life and interests of the common people. Utagawa Yoshikazu was one of the pioneers of Yokohama-e, and was active ca. 1850 – 1870.
The camera depicted here is most likely a daguerreotype, the first commercially successful photographic process, invented by Daguerre in 1839. The photographer is likely Felice (Felix) Beato who worked in Yokohama from 1863 to 1883, becoming the most famous, and perhaps best known western photographer in Japan. Beato had a strong influence on Japanese photographers in the Meiji period, through his studio portraits, landscape views, and genre pieces. He was one of the first to take photographs in East Asia, and created the first substantial body of work in photojournalism. In Japan, Beato worked with and taught other photographers for 2 decades, and had a long lasting influence.
In this wood block print the photographer is setting up the camera to make an image of a scene through a door which is being held open for him by a man at the left. Behind the photographer is a woman and boy in western dress, with 3 more people in the street beyond. The print with a banner in Japanese across the top of the print. 

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