Only in the late 19th century did Japan, famous for its isolationist behavior, begin to open its borders to foreign influences. The year 1863 was the year a British-Italian well-traveled photographer and war correspondent named Felice Beato reached Yokohama.
The photos from German Photo Book Award recipient Japanese Dream shows Beato's hand colored photographs.
Beato spent more than 20 years in the city -- he captured portraits of natives -- geishas in their garbs and kimonos, the honored samurai, the sumo wrestlers. He also shot the picturesque, classic Japanese landscapes. He was deeply influenced by the style of the Yokohama School, but not much like his other fellow Japanese enthusiasts.
The photographer was cautious and careful of composing his images, likening them to the works of woodcut artists Hiroshige or Hokusai. However, since Beato was among the pioneers of early color photography, he managed to shape the notion of what was then an exotic, distant Asian country and reintroduced it to the West as a land of beauty.
Images are from the press kit. Buy the book here.
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