Rare Photos of the Far East from 1860.

For context, this was only a couple years before Mathew Brady’s Civil War battlefield photos.

Amazing photos of the Emperor’s Palace, forts, Pagoda, and the river.

Warning, Theres a few dead guys in the first photo. It’s not bloody or gory. The famous Mathew Brady photos are much, much worse. Note the discarded crossbow, shields, and spears. Quite a fight went on there.

Fascinating pictures - thanks for the link! I love Victorian photographs of exotic locales.

Some of the earliest ones I’ve seen are of the Crimean War, showing cavalry troops and battlefields with cannonballs everywhere. Which is more remarkable when you consider cameras were huge and mobile darkrooms had to be drawn by horses back then.

That was interesting. The picture of the Summer Palace across the water gave me deja vu, and when I looked at some photos I had taken on vacation in China I realized I had taken one from what must have been almost the same exact spot. With a little resizing, I could superimpose them.

And when there weren’t enough cannonballs, the photographer, Roger Fenton, laboriously hauled some more into the shot, after which his assistant, Mr. Exacto, devised a cunning invention.

The amazing thing to me is how many of those photos look like they could be taken today. Change the clothes on the people in them, and I think only one would look out of place.

I found the fort design interesting. It was nothing like a fort that I’m used to seeing. There were no walls to protect people.

Was the long ramp designed to drag cannon up to the top? I see the whole thing is sort of rounded. Probably to help deflect enemy cannon fire.

Interesting stuff! Thanks for posting.

Google “Dai Butsu” and you can see what that statue looks like today. I think it is the same one.

That fort is not part of the outer defenses. It is a small hill built behind the outer wall so the cannoneers on top could have a direct line of sight on attackers. There is a contemporary drawing here where you can see the lower outer wall behind the hill with the ramp.

That is fascinating! I love old photos and can spend hours over on Shorpy. The peek into the past is thought provoking.

The look at the old fortifications I find fascinating - they were designed not so much as a home base for a large unit but as a small local defense facility. They also seem to not be designed for British style drill parades, there is a distinct lack of open space. I would love to see what type of vicus developed outside for the locals.

Yes, that statue is still there (but not in Yokohama, it is in Kamakura, an old military capital, across the peninsula - facing Sagami Bay, not Tokyo Bay).

The one labeled “Tycoon’s Palace in Yedo” is a little hard to figure out. I think it must have been some daimyo’s Edo residence; it certainly isn’t the Shogun’s Castle.

Truly fascinating. I’m going to show the old views of Yokohama to my partner, who grew up around there (although a few years later!) to see if he can recognize any landmarks.

They’re ok, but he didn’t even follow the rule of thirds… :wink: