Colorized by Jordan J. Lloyd, based on an original Albumen Silver print by Franz von Stillfried-Ratenicz
Taken c.1869 – 1881, c. Yokohama, Japan (Capital Collections)
The port of Yokohama became the base of foreign trade in Japan during the Meiji era, and a centre of newly imported Western technology such as gas-powered street lamps, newspaper and of course, photography. A number of photographic studios operated out of Yokohama, with the Japan Photographic Association (also known as Stillfried & Andersen) producing a prolific output of hand coloured portraits and landscapes. Many photographers developed their own techniques for hand colouring albumen silver prints known as shashin abura-e (写真油絵) - 'photographic oil paintings', were incredibly popular with tourists of the time. A different version of the photograph also by me features as the cover of the Manic Street Preacher’s album Resistance is Futile (2018, Columbia Records).
Original caption reads,
"A portrait of a Japanese soldier from the waist up. He is standing facing his left whilst wearing ornate armour consisting of a chest plate and chainmail undershirt. His hair is swept back and is dressed in a topknot."