Some Japanese Flowers
This is a majestic collection of images from one of Japan's most important early photographers. Captivated in his youth by the new technology of photography, Kazumasa Ogawa (1860-1929) became one of the most enterprising and important early photographers, technicians, and printers in Japan. Born shortly before the Meiji era (1868-1912) and educated in both the US and Japan, Ogawa produced a range of illustrated books for the Western market. His work focused on traditional architecture, scenic views, and subjects associated with Japanese culture, such as national festivals, military tableaux, ritual customs, costumed geisha, and flowers. An original edition of Ogawa's 1896 book of hand-coloured collotype prints, titled "Some Japanese Flowers", in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, is reproduced here in its entirety. These beautiful photographs feature flowers native to Japan, such as the lotus, several varieties of chrysanthemum, lily, and morning glory, as well as garden scenes. An essay traces Ogawa's distinguished career and describes the collotype process used to produce his exquisite flower images, collected here again for the first time since the late nineteenth century.