This exhibition presents portrait photographs of approximately 350 statesmen, government officials, military officers, businessmen, scholars and artists, who had an impact on building modern Japanese society.The faces and figures of people are their most notable features when we attempt to identify or understand someone. We have been attracted by portraits in all ages and have used various media for presenting the portraits such as paintings, photographs, and prints. Prior to the advent of films and television which present true-to-life likeness of people, we were only be able to become familiar which the appearance of famous people through media such as newspapers, books and other publications.
Although many of the photographs from those early days have been lost, collections of photographs printed in books have been preserved in relatively good condition for almost over a century. In July 2004, we started the electronic exhibition “Portraits of Modern Japanese Historical Figures” which shows portraits of 220 famous people of the time from our collections.
“Portraits of Modern Japanese Historical Figures” has attracted many visitors. This time, we have selected representative persons from a greater diversity of fields and added 130 more portraits from collections of photographs, and the biography of each individual. Each portrait is accompanied by a brief biography of the portrayed person to let you know his/her life and character, and also their main works published in the Meiji era are linked to the “Digital Library from the Meiji Era”.”