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Published on Jun 21, 2007
These Photographs were taken in the final days of the samurai class, before its abolition in 1867. It should be noted that some of these photographs date to the Meiji period. Many of these pictures were taken in the 1880's -therefore they show former samurai, or sometimes just ordinary people posing as samurai.
NOTE: The last few pictures seen in this video show Tokugawa Yoshinobu, Japan's last Shogun and the famous reformer, Sakamoto Ryoma, who played a pivotal role in the modernisation of the country. We also see the new Police force(The seated uniformed man with the katana) as well as the last picture which displays the European military reformers and the westernized Japanese officers. Although these aren't samurai, they were added to show the revolutionary changes that were taking place in Japanese society at this time.
Several of these Photographs were taken by the renowned photographer Felice Beato and his pupil, Raimund von Stillfried.