After photography was introduced in Japan in 1848, the medium soon became very popular. The Japanese called photography Shashin, meaning a reproduction of reality.
The first cameras came to Japan through the Dutch trading post Dejima located in the Nagasaki Bay around the middle of the nineteenth century. The trading post’s physician offered instruction in photography and wrote the first manuals for the Japanese on the use of the camera and photographic techniques.
The introduction of photography and modern printing methods to Japan in the nineteenth-century caused the decline in popularity of ukiyo-e woodblock prints. The themes already known from woodblock prints were taken up in photography, and the artisans who had formerly worked with colour printing-blocks applied their skills in the careful addition of colours to albumen photographs.