Your personal museum for Japan’s visual heritage

My name is Kjeld Duits (kyelt doo-its) and I collect and protect vintage images of daily life in Japan between the 1850s and 1960s.

I acquire vintage prints, glass slides, negatives, and other images; conserve and research them; and then share the findings on my site Old Photos of Japan and in this newsletter. I focus on customs, work, street views, architecture, and so on.

My thoroughly researched articles aim to give context and bring daily life in old Japan back to life. I believe there is something that we can learn from how people lived in the past. That “something” will differ for each reader.

What is the deal?

Old Photos of Japan aims to be like a public museum, so all posts on the site are free to everybody.

However, it takes an incredible amount of work and money to find, acquire, scan, restore, research, conserve and share all this material.

If you find my articles enjoyable or valuable, please consider supporting my work. You can do so on Old Photos of Japan from as low as $0.99 per month.

Who am I?

I am a Tokyo based journalist who has lived and worked in Japan since 1982.

The 1995 quake that devastated Kobe—my home at the time—launched me as a Japan Correspondent. Before I retired in 2021 I covered most major earthquakes in Asia, as well as Japan’s economy, social trends, and breaking events.

I walked through the rubble of floods, quakes and tsunamis and was in Fukushima when the first nuclear reactor exploded. Over the years I have seen horrible things.

Building on my experience as a journalist and photographer I started collecting and researching vintage images in 2007. Now this work is my main focus.

Please join me in this journey. Let’s safeguard this unique heritage for the future.

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Exploring daily life in old Japan through vintage images from the 1850s~1960s.


Tokyo-based journalist and photographer. I find old images of Japan and give them a loving home.