'Japanese types', 1888.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 21cm x 32cm

'Japanese types', 1888.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Six members of the higher-class of society 'put together from photographs', from 'Japan: travels and researches undertaken at the cost of the Prussian government' by Johannes Justus Rein (London, 1888). Rein (1835-1918) wrote about the different physical types of Japanese people, classifying them according to facial characteristics. To the left stands a Samurai of 'ordinary facial expression'. To the right a daughter of a high-ranking family and in the middle a teenage Samurai 'of strikingly feminine features'. Behind them stands a nobleman. The Samurai kneeling down is 'very characteristic', while the figure seated on a European chair 'best expresses the intelligent features of the Japanese in maturer age'.

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