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A Tourist's Album of Japan

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Collection Overview

Katherine Wolcott and her uncle, Robert Hull Fleming, compiled this photo album on their visit to Japan in 1909. Part of a larger Asian trip, the two stopped in Japan and collected photos, postcards, bookmarks, and other materials. Fleming was a graduate of the University of Vermont, and in 1929 Katherine Wolcott helped to fund the construction of the Robert Hull Fleming Museum in memory of her late uncle. This album, a memento from their trip, was part of Wolcott’s own collection.

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Time Period Covered: 1909 

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Published:  February 01, 2011,  University of Vermont, Bailey/Howe Library, Special Collections

Rights:  Requests to reproduce this item should be sent to the UVM Libraries' Center for Digital Initiatives at cdi@uvm.edu. For more information, see http://cdi.uvm.edu/about/rights.


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Title:   Fan crafter with a customer

Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

Date:  1909

Resource type:   photographs

Resource type:   photomechanical prints

There are two main types of fans in this man's shop. The folding fan - known as the "Sensu," and the hand fan - known as the "Uchiwa."

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    Title:   Four women picking plants

    Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

    Date:  1909

    Resource type:   photographs

    Resource type:   photomechanical prints

    It looks like the women are picking tea leaves. Less labor intensive then traditional rice farming, but still a difficult job.

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      Title:   Four women preparing a meal

      Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

      Date:  1909

      Resource type:   photographs

      Resource type:   photomechanical prints

      The four women are engaged in various tasks. The woman on the farthest left is grinding something within her bowl, while the woman to her right is dicing a radish. The two women on the right are tending a fire.

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        Title:   Group of farmers tending to their crops

        Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

        Date:  1909

        Resource type:   photographs

        Resource type:   photomechanical prints

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          Title:   Groups of people eating lakeside

          Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

          Date:  1909

          Resource type:   photographs

          Resource type:   photomechanical prints

          A group of women are eating together by a lake. A group of men are in the background, and appear to be eating as well.

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            Title:   Rural farmer

            Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

            Date:  1909

            Resource type:   photographs

            Resource type:   photomechanical prints

            The man in this picture is wearing a straw raincoat, as well as the other traditional attire of a rural farmer. In his left hand, he holds a plant and what looks like a hoe. The other hand is carrying a container.

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              Title:   Rural worker carrying his tools

              Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

              Date:  1909

              Resource type:   photographs

              Resource type:   photomechanical prints

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                Title:   Samurai bowing before their lord

                Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                Date:  1909

                Resource type:   photographs

                Resource type:   photomechanical prints

                The important figure is stepping into a palanquin, about to be carried to his destination by his bodyguards.

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                  Title:   Sandal shop owner with a customer

                  Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                  Date:  1909

                  Resource type:   photographs

                  Resource type:   photomechanical prints

                  The Japanese Sandal is known as a "Geta" and was the most common piece of footwear throughout most of Japan's history. Geta can have varying amount of pegs, or none at all. When they don't have pegs, they are sometimes known as "Zori."

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                    Title:   Street vendor posing for a photo

                    Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                    Date:  1909

                    Resource type:   photographs

                    Resource type:   photomechanical prints

                    A street vendor carrying his container over his shoulder. The threadbare nature of his clothing supports this conclusion. Japan's national flag is supported on the back end of his container, and a bell is dangling from his left hand.

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                      Title:   Street vendor with small pipes on display

                      Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                      Date:  1909

                      Resource type:   photographs

                      Resource type:   photomechanical prints

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                        Title:   Tea house with waitresses

                        Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                        Date:  1909

                        Resource type:   photographs

                        Resource type:   photomechanical prints

                        Judging by the large quantity of women present in the building, this residence is most likely a tea-house or establishment catering to entertaining men.

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                          Title:   Two female performers

                          Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                          Date:  1909

                          Resource type:   photographs

                          Resource type:   photomechanical prints

                          The woman on the right is holding a Shamisen, while the woman on the left is posed in a position as if she were about to begin dancing.

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                            Title:   Two men attired as Samurai playing Shogi

                            Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                            Date:  1909

                            Resource type:   photographs

                            Resource type:   photomechanical prints

                            Judging by their hairstyles and the manner in which they are dressed, the two men are either of Samurai heritage or imitating men of such. They are playing Shogi, a Japanese board game similar in quality and manner to Chess.

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                              Title:   Two men getting their hair styled

                              Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                              Date:  1909

                              Resource type:   photographs

                              Resource type:   photomechanical prints

                              A public hair styling experience.

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                                Title:   Two traveling female performers

                                Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                                Date:  1909

                                Resource type:   photographs

                                Resource type:   photomechanical prints

                                The woman on the left is carrying a Shamisen, while the woman on the right is holding a Kokyu.

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                                  Title:   Two women bathing and dressing themselves

                                  Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                                  Date:  1909

                                  Resource type:   photographs

                                  Resource type:   photomechanical prints

                                  The two women are in different stages preparation. The one on the left appears to be applying various forms of make up to herself, while the one on the right is washing herself.

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                                    Title:   Two women posing for a picture with their calligraphy

                                    Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                                    Date:  1909

                                    Resource type:   photographs

                                    Resource type:   photomechanical prints

                                    Two women posing with umbrellas and calligraphy.

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                                      Title:   Two women posing with a tea set

                                      Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                                      Date:  1909

                                      Resource type:   photographs

                                      Resource type:   photomechanical prints

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                                        Title:   Two women practicing calligraphy

                                        Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                                        Date:  1909

                                        Resource type:   photographs

                                        Resource type:   photomechanical prints

                                        The two women are practicing Japanese calligraphy, or "Shodou," an art most saw as a signifier of refinery and nobility.

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                                          Title:   Two women preparing a meal

                                          Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                                          Date:  1909

                                          Resource type:   photographs

                                          Resource type:   photomechanical prints

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                                            Title:   Two women preparing their attire

                                            Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                                            Date:  1909

                                            Resource type:   photographs

                                            Resource type:   photomechanical prints

                                            Two women posing in elegant kimono. It seems one is about to put a long shawl around the other.

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                                              Title:   Two women under a blooming Sakura tree

                                              Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                                              Date:  1909

                                              Resource type:   photographs

                                              Resource type:   photomechanical prints

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                                                Title:   Woman preparing her hair and clothing

                                                Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                                                Date:  1909

                                                Resource type:   photographs

                                                Resource type:   photomechanical prints

                                                There is a woman using a system of two mirrors to ensure that her hair is done properly. She appears to be in her own room. Clothing, as well as a dresser and other assorted items fill the room.

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                                                  Title:   Woman with umbrella posing in front of a mural of Mt Fuji

                                                  Creator:  Wolcott, Katherine

                                                  Date:  1909

                                                  Resource type:   photographs

                                                  Resource type:   photomechanical prints

                                                  A women dressed in a very formal kimono, is depicted holding an umbrella in her left hand. In the background is a mural of Mt Fuji and the Japanese countryside. The woman, a symbol for Japanese urban life, stands as a stark contrast to the background of nature imagery. Her kimono is hand colored in the image, as well as the flora surrounding her.

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