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Untitled (Japanese Woman in Winter Dress)

Untitled (Japanese Woman in Winter Dress), c. 1880, Unknown creator, Hand-tinted albumen print, Gift of Mrs. Gertrude Dempster, 1979.4.1.38.

In the mid-19th century, Japan opened up to trade with the west after two hundred years. The opening of Japan’s ports brought commerce, tourism, and consequently, photography, to the country.

This photograph of a Japanese woman in winter dress is part of a larger album that is probably what is known as Yokohama-shashin, or popular touristic photo albums of Japanese scenery, people, and culture sold in and around Yokohama. This hand-tinted photograph was purchased by Thomas Coke Carter (1851-1916), a missionary from Carrol County, Tennessee, who worked in China and traveled in Japan.