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File:Meiji Emperor.jpg



Portrait of the Emperor Meiji. Albumen silver print.

Uchida Kuichi was the only photographer granted a sitting by the Emperor Meiji and in 1872 Uchida photographed the Emperor and Empress Haruko in full court dress and everyday robes. In 1873, Uchida again photographed the Emperor, who this time wore military dress, and a photograph from this sitting became the official imperial portrait (Ishii and Iizawa). Copies of the official portrait were distributed among foreign heads of state and Japanese regional governmental offices, but their private sale was prohibited. Nevertheless, many copies of the photograph were made and circulated on the market.
Date 1873
Photographer Uchida Kuichi
Source The Cleveland Museum of Art(Kinoshita). Published in the Japanese book, Meiji Tenno gyoden (Tokyo: Kaneo Bun'endo, 1912)


  • Bennett, Terry. 'Early Japanese Images' (Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1996), p. 54; p. 132, fig. 128; p. 144, fig. 128.
  • Ishii, Ayako, and Kotaro Iizawa. 'Chronology'. In 'The History of Japanese Photography' (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2003), 314.
  • Kinoshita, Naoyuki. 'The Early Years of Japanese Photography'. In 'The History of Japanese Photography' (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2003), 27-28.
  • Tucker, Anne Wilkes, et al. 'The History of Japanese Photography' (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2003), p. 54, pl. 29.
  • Worswick, Clark. "The Disappearance of Uchida, Kyuichi and the Discovery of Nineteenth-Century Asian Photography." 'Image', vol. 36, nos. 1-2 (Spring-Summer 1993), p. 16, fig. 1; p. 30, fig. 10.
  • Worswick, Clark. 'Japan: Photographs 1854-1905' (New York: Pennwick/Alfred A. Knopf, 1979), p. 41, repr; pp. 136, 147.


Public domain This photographic image was published before December 31st 1956, or photographed before 1946, under jurisdiction of the Government of Japan. Thus this photographic image is considered to be public domain according to article 23 of old copyright law of Japan and article 2 of supplemental provision of copyright law of Japan.
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