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Tattooed palanquin bearers

von Stillfried-Ratenicz, Franz, 1881, Photograph
of 13
Tattooed palanquin bearers
Tattooed palanquin bearers
Tattooed palanquin bearers
Tattooed palanquin bearers
Library Item
15139
Tattooed palanquin bearers
A Japanese man is about to be carried away by two tattooed palanquin bearers. He wears a casual kimono and his hair seems to have been cut short in the Western style. He is sitting in a 'shitekago', a travelling chair made of braided bamboo and suspended by a single crossbeam. The straw screens on the sides have been rolled onto the roof.
The carriers are wearing broad bamboo hats ('kasa') and straw sandals whilst one has a loincloth and the other a short robe. Both are covered with tattoos; the one on the left-hand side has the image of a dragon on his back and the other one, a floral design. They both hold a cane ('ikizue') used to regulate their breathing while carrying a client away.
They are standing in front of a two-storey wooden house with a tiled roof. Traditional Japanese elements such as paper walls ('shoji') are visible, but also Western ones such as the glass windows. The photograph was taken outdoors.
1881
19.5 x 24 cm
Art and Design Library