Over the past 150 years, Japanese photographers have created an impressive body of work that ranges from dignified imperial photographs to sweeping urban panoramas, from early ethereal landscapes to modern urban mysteries. Despite the richness, significance, and variety of this work, however, it has largely been neglected in Western histories of photography. This gorgeous and groundbreaking book–the first comprehensive account of Japanese photography from its inception in the mid-nineteenth century to the present day–reveals to English-speaking audiences the importance and beauty of this art form. Written by a team of distinguished Japanese and Western scholars, this book establishes that photography began to play a vital role in Japanese culture soon after its introduction to Japan in the 1850s. Illustrated essays discuss the medium’s evolution and aesthetic shifts in relation to the nation’s historical and cultural developments; the interaction of Japanese photographers with Western photographers; the link between photography and other Japanese art forms; and photography as a record and catalyst of change. Handsomely designed and generously illustrated with beautiful duotone and color images, the book emphasizes not only the unique features of Japanese photography but also the ways it has influenced and been influenced by the country’s culture and society.