Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Samurai in Armour

Portrait of an unidentified samurai in armour, Yokohama,
circa 1873-76. Photograph: Suzuki Shin’ichi I.

Albumen print from wet collodion negative. An unusually sensitive portrait taken at a time when the samurai class was about to disappear. Despite the edict of 1871 encouraging – but not enforcing – the abandonment of their distinctive topknot and swords, the sitter wears his hair in the traditional style and sports two swords, but is also dressed in full armour. This portrait either pre-dates the 1876 ban on wearing swords in public or was taken immediately afterwards as a keepsake. (theGaurdian)

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