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Samurai at the Sphinx

 
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ltdomer98
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Joined: 04 May 2006
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Location: Washington (the one with all the politicians)

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:35 pm    Post subject: Samurai at the Sphinx Reply with quote
Came across this the other day, thought I'd share:

http://www.nicholasreeves.com/item.aspx?category=Research&id=299

Quote:
Japan was first opened to the West by Commodore Matthew Perry in 1854, but the country was for years to come a reluctant participant in the process.

Following the Emperor Komei`s "order to expel barbarians" in 1863, a Japanese embassy left for Europe on 29 December 1863, led by Ikeda Nagaoki, governor of Chikugo Province (Fukuoka Prefecture). Its aim was to persuade France to agree to the closing of the port of Yokohama to foreign trade, and allow Japan to retreat into isolation once more. The mission inevitably failed.

In 1864, en route to Paris, the Ikeda mission visited Egypt. The stay was memorialised in one of nineteenth-century photography`s most extraordinary images - the embassy`s members, dressed in winged kamishimo costume and jingasa hats, carrying their feared long (katana) and short (wakizashi) swords, standing before the Giza Sphinx. The photograph was taken by Antonio Beato (c. 1825-1903), brother of the photographer Felice Beato. Extant prints of this image are today extremely rare.



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Last edited by ltdomer98 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Great photo! Thanks for posting this and the link to the story.
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