1890's. Maruyama Brothels. A view of the Nagasaki brothels Kinbaro (金波楼), the one with the lanterns, and Tamashimatei (玉島亭), the one next to Kinbaro on the far side. These were just two of many brothels in Nagasaki’s Maruyama (丸山町) and Yoriai (寄合町) prostitute quarters. At the height of their popularity, Maruyama and neighboring Yoriai counted no less than 54 brothels with 766 prostitutes.
1870's, Nagasaki. A view on Nagasaki Harbor and the southern tip of the city’s foreign settlement. The main settlement in Oura is behind the hill in the right background. The lone pine tree located on that hill marks the location of the residence of the influential Scottish merchant Thomas Blake Glover (1838-1911). The house was completed in 1863 (Bunkyu 3) and is today the oldest extant Western-style building in Japan.
Boats are docked in front of a long row of warehouses in Koamicho in Tokyo’s mercantile quarter of Nihonbashi. Ogawa was looking towards Yoroibashi, a steel bridge built in 1873 (Meiji 6), which can be seen in the far right of the image.
Shinbashi Geisha Houses, Tokyo, 1890's. In the late Edo period (1603-1868), Yanagibashi, nearby the Ryogoku bridge, was Tokyo’s main geisha district. The advent of the Meiji era (1868-1912), however, brought a new elite, more focused on money and power, who showed little interest in the traditional values of Yanagibashi. They favored the geisha quarter of Shinbashi (also Shimbashi). It was situated close to the new government and office buildings that were springing up like mushrooms.
People in Japanese and Western style dress walk on the pier in Yokohama Harbor. A steamship can be seen in the back, spewing black smoke from its smokestack. The red brick building in the back housed the Yokohama Customs Office Inspection Bureau and was built in 1894.