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Japanese Samurai with Sword in Western Dress
4.25 x 3.25 in (108 x 83 mm)
Charles Schwartz Ltd
This extremely rare, iconic image was made at the end of the Bakumatsu Period a time of great social upheaval, when Japan began to make its transition from feudal to modern society. The sitter's new (and yet discordantly Western-style) uniform and Samurai sword indicate a personage of high rank. Samurais fighting for the soon-to-be-installed Meiji government which would eventually outlaw their caste were called "reformed Samurai."