Tuesday, April 8, 2008

(Buy) Old Photos of Japan

(Photo borrowed from Old Photos of Japan)

An announcement from H-ASIA.

The following is a commercial site where you can purchase digital versions of old photos of Japan. The site gives various information about each photo and might be of interest to visual anthropologists. Read their own description below:

Multilingual Photoblog of Old Photographs of Japan. Daily uploads of rare photographs and postcards of Japan between 1860 and the 1930's. These images display an abundance of information about the urban settings and customs of Japan. This is further augmented by well-researched articles accompanying the images. Many of the articles contain maps and additional illustrations, making them a very useful resource on modern Japan, especially the Meiji, Taisho and early Showa periods. The photographs can be searched by keyword, period, theme, location, photographer and medium. The site was launched on March 1, 2008 and displays photos from a private collection of many thousands of rare photographs and maps.

They further explain: If you wish to use copyrighted data in publications, broadcasting, lectures and so on, please purchase licenses from the tools menu above each image. After payment, you will immediately receive a link where you can download the digital file.

Since you are supposed to purchase the rights to use the image, I'm not sure if technically I can post the photo above. At the site, below the picture is a description of the park and the area in general, a map and then a section called "Blog this!" Bloggers can cut and paste the information (which includes a hot link to the photo at their site) into their own blogs like I have done below:

Osaka 1930s • Nakanoshima Park

Opened in 1891 (Meiji 24), Nakanoshima Park was Osaka’s very first public park. It was built on Nakanoshima, a small stretch of land that divided the old Yodo River into the Dojima River and the Tosabori River. During the Edo Period the banks of these two rivers were lined with Kurayashiki, the warehouses and residences of samurai who sold goods from their domains in Osaka. But by the end of the 19th century, the area was quickly shedding its Edo face and Nakanoshima became the focus of Osaka’s modernization.
Thumbnail URL: http://oldphotosjapan.com/images/28t.jpg

This might be a good source for historical photos and salvage(d) ethnography.


Anonymous said...

But the "tools menu above each image" doesn't even work: just try clicking on the licence links. And I'm sort of dubious about these guys' copyright claim on 19th century photos anyway.

visual gonthros said...

Yes, you are correct. I can't get the tools menu to work either. Please be assured that I am not doing any product endorsement for them (VAOJ is a capitalism-free zone after all). I didn't consider buying anything so I didn't even try out the tools menu before your comment.

On their "about us" page they state:

"All images on Old Photos of Japan come from the Kjeld Duits Collection and Pump Park Vintage Photography, two private collections of photographs, glass slides, postcards, illustrations, books and maps of prewar Japan.

Ownership and copyright of all the data on this site, including the images, belong to the holders of these two collections."

If true I suppose they should be more careful putting the stuff so freely on the internet. And announcing it to poor academics... Their watermark is not so intrusive. I feel as a non-profit making academic that I can use their stuff as long as I give proper citations. That would change if I were using their photos in a book that would be sold.

Anyway, I offered this post as a resource. There are old pictures of Japan with some historical context - you never know when such info might come in handy. Use it - or not - as you will.

Anonymous said...

The tools menu worked fine for me. Clicking on the licence links took me straight to the cart.