Discover the World: Japan Family Fun

Daruma doll made at Japan Family Fun

On Saturday we kicked off this year’s Family Fun programme with a trip round the world to Japan, discovering traditional customs and way of life through a wonderful 19th century photograph album held in the Special Collections Centre.

The photographs are hand-tinted, which means that they were developed as black and white photographs and then coloured by hand afterwords. The result is a beautiful, muted colour scheme. This technique was very popular in late 19th century Japan. Click on an image in the gallery below to see the photographs in a larger scale slideshow.

The photographs were created as souvenirs for a European audience. They show all sorts of things like traditional dress, house interiors, modes of transport and even tattoos!

Our Family Fun participants took inspiration from the photographs and did a variety of crafts, including designing panels for shoji screens (portable room dividers), making their own Daruma wishing dolls and having a go at origami. They also did their own version of hand-tinting using black and white facsimile copies of the photographs and tried their hand at using chopsticks.

It was a really busy afternoon and a great start to this year’s programme. We’ll be back soon with more Family Fun to accompany our next exhibition Above ScotlandIf you’d like to sign up to our mailing list to receive information about our family events, email us at

Posted by: Sarah


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