Lantern Slide of the Bell at Nara

Nara Bell Magic Lantern WEB

A hand-tinted lantern slide of the Great Bell at Nara, from the studio of Takagi Teijiro in Kobe, Japan. Takagi began his career working for Tamamura Kozaburo, circa 1903, and eventually took ownership of the business as the T. Takagi Photographic Studio & Art Gallery. The studio was located at 42 Nishi-machi from 1905 until at least 1929, and sold books of hand-colored photo prints, each book illuminating an aspect of Japanese life. A 1920 guidebook noted that the proprietor spoke English; the books had their captions in English; it is clear his main audience was Western tourists. In addition to books, the studio sold lantern slides, a medium that was easy to produce and duplicate. It is believed that most of the hand-tinting was done by workers, rather than by Takagi himself.

See the whole collection of Nara bell images here.

The Great Buddha at Kamakura

Kamakura Cigarette Card

It is perhaps the most wondrous thing I have ever seen in person, but I never expected to encounter it again on a cigarette card. This would have been issued at the time of the Russo-Japanese War, when the Russians were the bad guys and the Japanese were the good guys. As to which of Lambert & Butler’s cigarettes I would pick, I am torn between “May Blossom,” which sounds light and refreshing, and “Varsity Mixture,” which might make me feel younger and more racy in a collegiate way.