~~ Kioto Temples ~~
24 Albumen Photographs
Fabric Covered Covers
Fabric Covered Slip Case
Inside Front Cover (Albumen Photograph of Text)
Japan Kiyotomeisho Ph[o]tographer, Kuwada Seisendo, Kioto. This is an album of 24 sepia tone (untinted/uncolored) cloth covered album with albumen photographs of temples, shrines and scenic places in the Kyoto area. In addition there is an albumen photograph inside the front cover which contains text in English and Japanese. The binding is front to back (not accordion) and is very flimsy. Each photo is mounted on a heavy (paper) board. The album measures 6 1/2 x 5 1/4 in (16.8 x 13.5 cm). The individual photographs measure 5 1/2 x 4 1/4 in (13.8 x 10.8 cm) Each image has a rectangular box with a descriptive caption in English and Japanese. There are no numbers in the captions. There are no labels on the covers. The book is accompanied by a cloth covered slipcase with a albumen photograph paste down label. The label reads "Japan Kiyotomeish/ Photographer / Kuwada Seisindo. Kioto/ Matsuwara Janaginobaba No Higasi." The case that accompanies the book is closed except at the ends. The album slides into the case.
I find no reference to Kuwada Seisendo in any of the references for early Japanese photography.
I have only found one record of this book in WorldCat and it is held by Yale University in the Sterling Memorial Library (url here and here). In this record the book is dated to "18--?."
In the text photograph (inside the front cover) you find reference to the year 12. Meiji 12 is 1879 and Taisho 12 is 1923. I am of the opinion that this album is from the late to early 1870s-80s.
The bi-lingual descriptive captions in rectangular boxes on the photographs in this album are somewhat similar to those used by Yokoyama Matsusaburo (1838-1884). Three of the captions in this album match Yokoyama photographs listed by Terry Bennett in his book Old Japanese Photographs Collectors' Data Guide (note 1). These photographs are:
- Bennett "137 Bridge in Sijio" - This album "Bridge Sanjio"
- Bennett "38 Sanju Sangendo" - This album "Sanjusangendo"
- Bennett "48 & 104 Simogamo" - This album "Simogamo"
I do note differences between the captions on these photographs and large format Yokoyama albumen photographs. On these photographs the descriptive caption box has smooth rounded corners. On the large format photographs the corners are formed by diagonal lines. The Japanese text in these photographs appears to be far more extensive than that found in the large format photographs.
Terry Bennett only recorded numbered photographs in Old Japanese Photographs Collectors' Data Guide and he lists only thirteen Yokoyama photographs. His studio was located in Tokyo and perhaps he operated one in Yokohama. He was know to have conducted photographic projects in Kyoto in 1872 and 1879. Most of his photographs are dated to the 1870s mid to late 1870s. By the 1880s Yokoyama seems to have ceased business.
Two of the photographs show the same individual in the foreground. These photographs are captioned "Tionin" and "Simogamo." A photograph of Yokoyama can be found on page 168 of Terry Bennett's book Early Japanese Images (note 2).
Left Photograph - "Bridge Sanjio" ~~ Right Photograph - Text in Japanese & English
Left Photograph - "Exhibition Place" ~~ Right Photograph - "Hinogomon of Cosio"
Left Photograph - "Rokkakudo" ~~ Right Photograph - "Nidionosho"
Left Photograph - "Church of Nisi Honguanji" ~~ Right Photograph - "Higasi Honguanji"
Left Photograph - "Sanjusangendo" ~~ Right Photograph - "Inari"
Left Photograph - "Bridge Nisi Otani" ~~ Right Photograph - "Daibutsu"
Left Photograph - "Kiyomidsu from Kioto City" ~~ Right Photograph - "Kiyomizu"
Left Photograph - "Gion" ~~ Right Photograph - "Steerle Oi Yasaka"
Left Photograph - "Tionin" (Man in Photo) ~~ Right Photograph - "Maruyama"
Left Photograph - "Ginkakuji" ~~ Right Photograph - "Kurodani"
Left Photograph - "Kamigamo" ~~ Right Photograph - "Simogamo" (Man in Photo)
Left Photograph - "Kinkakuji" ~~ Right Photograph - "Kitano Tenjin"
Inside Back Cover - Blank ~~ Right Photograph - "Arasiyama"
Old Japanese Photographs Collectors' Data Guide, London, Bernard Quaritch Ltd., 2006, © Terry Bennett, 8vo, navy blue cloth with gilt title on spine, dust jacket, 308 pp. A must for the person interested in Meiji era photography and photographers. This work will, no doubt, become a standard reference for the collector and student of early photography in Japan. The book spans the period from the importation of the first camera into Japan (1848) through the death of the Emperor Meiji in 1912. It includes sections with old and new articles on photography in Japan, important research data (including Masonic photographers in Japan), numerically sequenced listings, by photograph studio, of over 4,000 photographs (numbers and captions are provided in the listings), a comprehensive index of Japan related stereoview photographers and publishers (350+) during the period of 1859-1912 by Rob Oechsle and reprints of photograph studio advertisements found in publications of the period. The index of stereoview photographers and publishers is supplemented in the research data section of the book with detailed numerical/caption lists of Japan related stereoviews in 13 different sets.
Early Japanese Images, Rutland, Vermont, Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1996, black cloth, dust jacket, 8vo (7 3/4 in x 10 1/2 in), 138+ photographs, bibliography, appendix of photographic terms, listing of 1,000 early photographs showing title, number and in most cases attributed to a specific photographer, 168 pp. Covers the early days of photography in Japan from 1853, when Commodore Perry visited, to the end of the Meiji era in 1912. Includes commentary and examples of the work of Eliphalet Brown, Jr., Felice Beato, Baron Raimund von Stillfried-Rateniz, Adolfo Farsari, Renjo Shimooka, Hikoma Ueno, Kimbei Kusakabe, Kozaburo Tamamura, Kazumasa Ogawa, Kuichi Uchida. The listing of early Japanese photographs is an invaluable resource in identifying 19th century photographs which often had a caption and number but no indication of the photographer