Shimooka Renjō became involved with photography from its very beginnings in Japan, soon after the insular nation was forced open in 1854. A painter, Renjō’s interest in photography was sparked by the influx of new trade and technology from the West in the latter part of the 19th century. He diligently pursued learning its principles, and by the 1860s had acquired his own camera and equipment. Working mostly in Yokohama, he documented the progression of the Meiji Restoration and Japanese culture of the time through numerous portraits, street scenes and landscapes. Exhaustively researched, this fascinating book offers a detailed overview of his life and work.