Gaze at Hand-Colored Photos of 19th Century Japan


Photography was introduced into Japan a few decades after its invention in Europe, and within a few years of the country’s re-opening to the West following Commodore Matthew Perry's arrival in Tokyo Bay in 1853. Recently, the New York Public Library digitized an album of photographs showing Japanese scenes just a few decades after Perry’s efforts.

The black-and-white images, many of them hand-colored, depict temples, houses, people, waterfalls, forests, and mountains, as well as transportation, agriculture, and entertainments such as sumo wrestling. Though the album’s provenance isn’t entirely clear, it’s part of a host of 19th century Japanese photographs the library currently cares for, many of which have also been hand-decorated with color.

According to the NYPL, some of the images in the album may have been created by the early Japanese photographer Kusakabe Kimbei, who ran a photo studio in Yokohama starting in 1881. Kimbei was a pupil of the noted early photographer of Asia Felice Beato, who set up a photo studio in Yokohama in 1863. (You can browse a wonderful interactive album of photos Beato took in Japan in the 1860s on the Getty Museum’s website.) 

And if you’re hungry for more recently digitized Japanese content from the NYPL, check out the beautiful woodcut-illustrated 1920s books of Japanese fairytales collected by the writer and translator Lafcadio Hearn. Born just a few years before Perry sailed into Tokyo Bay, Hearn was one of the first to bring Japanese culture and writings to the West. 


"Japanese Women: Cooking, Accomplishments (Music and Dance), Riding Rickshaw, Nursing, and Washing." (Click to enlarge.)

"Sumo Wrestler."  (Click to enlarge.)

"Massage, Peddlars, and a Store." (Click to enlarge.)

"Views - A Row of Houses, an Island, Harbor and Mt. Fuji."  (Click to enlarge.)

"Rickshaws and Palanquins." (Click to enlarge.)

All photos courtesy the New York Public Library.

Afternoon Map
The Most Searched Shows on Netflix in 2017, By State

Orange is the New Black is the new black, at least as far as Netflix viewers are concerned. The women-in-prison dramedy may have premiered in 2013, but it’s still got viewers hooked. Just as they did in 2017, took a deep dive into Netflix analytics using Google Trends to find out which shows people in each state were searching Netflix for throughout the year. While there was a little bit of crossover between 2016 and 2017, new series like American Vandal and Mindhunter gave viewers a host of new content. But that didn’t stop Orange is the New Black from dominating the map; it was the most searched show in 15 states.

Coming in at a faraway second place was American Vandal, a new true crime satire that captured the attention of five states (Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). Even more impressive is the fact that the series premiered in mid-September, meaning that it found a large and rabid audience in a very short amount of time.

Folks in Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon were all destined to be disappointed; Star Trek: Discovery was the most searched-for series in each of these states, but it’s not yet available on Netflix in America (you’ve got to get CBS All Access for that, folks). Fourteen states broke the mold a bit with shows that were unique to their state only; this included Big Mouth in Delaware, The Keepers in Maryland, The OA in Pennsylvania, GLOW in Rhode Island, and Black Mirror in Hawaii.

Check out the map above to see if your favorite Netflix binge-watch matches up with your neighbors'. For more detailed findings, visit

Afternoon Map
Monthly Internet Costs in Every Country

Thanks to the internet, people around the world can conduct global research, trade tips, and find faraway friends without ever leaving their couch. Not everyone pays the same price for these digital privileges, though, according to new data visualizations spotted by Thrillist.

To compare internet user prices in each country, cost information site created a series of maps. The data comes courtesy of English market research consultancy BDRC and, which teamed up to analyze 3351 broadband packages in 196 nations between August 18, 2017 and October 12, 2017.

In the U.S., for example, the average cost for internet service is $66 per month. That’s substantially more than what browsers pay in neighboring Mexico ($27) and Canada ($55). Still, we don’t have it bad compared to either Namibia or Burkina Faso, where users shell out a staggering $464 and $924, respectively, for monthly broadband access. In fact, internet in the U.S. is far cheaper than what residents in 113 countries pay, including those in Saudi Arabia ($84), Indonesia ($72), and Greenland ($84).

On average, internet costs in Asia and Russia tend to be among the lowest, while access is prohibitively expensive in sub-Saharan Africa and in certain parts of Oceania. As for the world’s cheapest internet, you’ll find it in Ukraine and Iran.

Check out the maps below for more broadband insights, or view’s full findings here.

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

[h/t Thrillist]


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