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
Kusakabe Kimbei was one of the early pioneers of Japanese photography. He is widely believed to have worked for both Felice Beato and Raimund von Stillfried, from which he may have learned some of the aspects of operating a photo studio. His photographs, however, are unique in composition and content. He is especially well known for his photographs of betto and geishas, as you can see above. For more photos of 19th century Japan, see my page on Felice Beato.