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Felix Beato


  • Biography
1834-1908. Photographer. Beato was a British citizen from the island of Corfu, which was then British territory. He had an Italian name, Felice Beato, but he changed it to Felix Beato. He traveled around the world with his brother, Antonio Beato, and arrived in Japan in 1863. He took many pictures of Japanese landscapes and portraits at the end of the Shogunate era and during Meiji.

  • Association with Minato City
Captured Edo Tokyo on daguerreotype during the Restoration at the end of Edo

After arriving in Japan, Beato established the studio Beato and Wirgman Co., Ltd., in the foreign concession in Yokohama with the illustrator Chales Wirgman. Photographs taken by Beato were mounted, made into albums, and sold mainly to visiting foreigners as souvenirs.

Beato took many pictures of temples in the Takanawa area, which had several foreign legations, and of the scenery of Minato City at the end of the Edo period, such as Akasaka Tameike, and he also took a massive landscape photograph from Mt. Atago, which was popular for its panoramic view of Edo. Around 1868 he published a photo book called Views of Japan. The photographs Beato continued to take from the end of Edo to early Meiji were introduced to the Western European society through visiting foreigners and newspaper companies and remain valuable documents to this day.

References
Edo no Gaikoku Koshikan (Foreign Legations in Edo) (Minato City Local History Museum)
Edo Tokyo Gakujiten (The Edo-Tokyo Encyclopedia) (Sanseido)

  • Related Publications
Bakumatsu Nihon no Fukei to Hitobito: Felix Beato Shashinshu (Views and People of Japan at the End of Edo: Photo Book of Felix Beato) (Edited by Yokohama Archives of History / Akashi Shoten)
Shashin de miru Edo Tokyo (Edo Tokyo in Photographs) (Toru Haga & Masayuki Okabe / Shinchosha)
Bessatsu Rekishi Dokuhon: Ikokujin no mita Japan (History Reader, Separate Volume: The Japan that Foreigners Saw) (Shinjinbutsu Oraisha)
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