'Hotta's Garden', Japan, c 1895.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Hand-coloured photograph, displayed on an album page, of people relaxing in Hotta Masayoshi's formal garden in Tokyo. Many of the elements of a typical Japanese formal garden are shown including rockeries, stone lanterns and bridges. Masayoshi (1810-1864), last lord of the Sakura clan, was an important and powerful political figure at the time of the Meiji Restoration in the late 1860s. Japanese photographs produced during the late nineteenth century were often hand-coloured and closely resembled popular ukiyo-e woodblock prints. These images portrayed Japan to Europeans as an old-fashioned and inward-looking country. This album is possibly by Kusakabe Kimbei (1841-1934) who worked in Yokahama from 1885 to 1912.