1915 studio portrait by Tacoma photographer U.S. Makimura. The subject is unnamed but his cool elegance and crisp silhouette are the very essence of style, from the bows on his shoes to the dome of his bowler hat. He is seated squarely in a day precisely a century ago, a young man enjoying a measure of prosperity in a city that was rushing into modernity. The Japanese American photographer who posed, lit and shot this portrait was one of many Pacific Northwest image makers in the Japantowns of Tacoma, Seattle and elsewhere. Many of the most visually stunning photographs made during the first quarter of the 20th Century in our region came from these cameramen. It was like they were looking at an entirely different world. Perhaps they were.
A few more studio portraits from about 1905 to 1915 in Tacoma. Such craftsmanship and precision in the images and compositions and such a sense of important documentation in the expressions of the people.
Most of these come from the Yamane Family Collection at the Washington State Historical Society.