Photograph Album of the former Edo Castle
(Kyu Edojo Shashinjo)

The Photograph Album of the Former Edo Castle was shot in 1871 soon after Japan entered on its new path of modernisation. The album contains 64 photographs of Edo Castle, the great symbol of power of the Tokugawa Shogunate. We see the final moments of the splendid era of the samurai in the already changing scenery of Edo Castle and dilapidated state of the buildings which remained. Japan was entering a new era and this album of photographs, the latest medium of the day, provided some of the earliest examples of the use of photography to record cultural treasures. Ninagawa Noritane, the album’s maker, was a forward-looking man who recorded these treasures for the future. The images he produced of how Edo Castle looked in his day are now being used by both architects and historians.