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7 Amazing Vintage Photos of 19th-Century Japan

This week, the Public Domain Review (PDR) posted a series of hand-colored albumen prints that date back to 19th-century Japan. Albumen is a process that used egg whites to bind the photographic chemicals to the paper. 

The prints, uploaded by the Dutch National Archieff, offer a glimpse of life in Japan some 150 years ago. Take a look:

Samurai with bow and arrow, helmets, swords, spears and coats of mail.

Samurai with bow and arrow, helmets, swords, spears and coats of mail. Public Domain

the photo of Japanese women styling hair, taken around 1880. Public Domain

Three Japanese women styling hair, taken around 1880. Public Domain

Fishermen on a boat. Japan, around 1870-1890.

Fishermen on a boat. Japan, around 1870-1890. Public Domain

Two women sleeping under a padded coat / blanket in a room with painted screen, scrolled painting and paper lantern. The cushion is a small wooden box

Two women sleeping under a padded coat / blanket in a room with painted screen, scrolled painting and paper lantern. The cushion is a small wooden box. Public Domain

Messenger or postman delivering the mail clasped in the end of a split bamboo pole. Japan, around 1868-1895

Messenger or postman delivering the mail clasped in the end of a split bamboo pole. Japan, around 1868-1895. Public Domain

Garden view from the open porch of a Japanese tearoom

Garden view from the open porch of a Japanese tearoom. Public Domain

Mendicant with staff, begging bowl and pointed hat.

Mendicant with staff, begging bowl and pointed hat. Public Domain

View more images from the series of 42 hand-coloured albumine prints from Spaarnestad Photo by Felice Beato, Kusakabe Kimbei or Raimund baron von Stillfried.

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