In 1860 three Prussian warships headed for Japan. Historically, Japan has had luck with typhoons. In many cases, they have protected Japan from foreign invaders. This was no exception — the three warships encountered a typhoon off the coast of Yokohama. One of the ships was sunk.
The two remaining Prussian ships anchored in Edo bay (Tokyo). They negotiated with Japan for months and fought off the occasional samurai attack. Eventually they were successful in forcing Japan into a trade agreement. The Prussians took a few photos — the first photos ever taken of Japan (1861).
Farmers from Omono doing their daily chores.
Some Japanese houses at Ozi — many areas of Japan look exactly the same today.
A temple and a man with a sword (possibly Ikegami Honmon-ji Temple in Tokyo)
These photos show Japan in its original state (before Western influence) — things were about to change. Only 20 years later there would be photographic studios in Yokohama and Tokyo pumping out photos of samurai and geisha.