The collector is the true resident of the interior. The collector dreams his way not only into a distant or bygone world but also into a better one.
- Walter Benjamin
Felice Beato was one of the first people to take photographs in East Asia and one of the first war photographers. He is well known for his early ethnographic pictures of Meiji Japan, some of which you can see above, from his time in Japan from 1863 to 1884. Many of his negatives were later sold to Raimund von Stillfried, so it is sometimes hard to tell which photographs are genuinely from Beato and when they were printed. For more photos of 19th century Japan, see my page on Kusakabe Kimbei.