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Samurai warriors prepare for battle in stunning colourised photos showing 200 years of the Far East

Way of the sword: 19th century samurai warriors prepare for battle in stunning colourised photos showing 200 years of Far East history

  • Images of Samurai from the Satsuma clan preparing for battle in the Boshin War have been newly colourised
  • The fascinating photographs document life in Asia during its transition into modernism after many conflicts  
  • Swedish student Julius Backman Jääskeläinen, 21, has colourised hundreds of images of the Far East 

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Samurai warriors are shown preparing for battle in a set of colourised images documenting life in the Far East over the past 200 years.

The fascinating pictures show fighters of the Satsuma clan gathering around a map during the 1868-1869 Boshin War, a civil war in Japan.

It broke out between the ruling Tokugawa shogunate nobles and an alliance of samurai clans looking to overthrow the military government and restore imperial rule. 

Saigo Takamori, later popularised as the Last Samurai, helped defeat the ruling nobles and hand greater power to Emperor Meiji.

But he then oversaw a period of rapid modernisation which gradually abolished the samurai and integrated them into the professional, military and business classes.

Samurai were the military nobility and officer caste which originated in Japan in the 13th century. They would carry two swords and adhered to the Bushido way of life, a form of chivalry which included loyalty, indifference to pain and taking part in battles. 

 Student Julius Backman Jääskeläinen, 21, from Visby, Sweden, developed an interest in colourisations in 2017 having always had a fascination with history. 

Julius has since colourised over 1,000 images paying particular interest to the Far East and samurai culture. 

The Japanese samurai of the Satsuma clan gathered to plan their attack during the 1868 -1869 Boshin War. The civil war was fought between the ruling Tokugawa shogunate, and those seeking to return to political power, including the Satsuma domain

An image captured by famed photographer Felice Beato shows a group of Japanese officer in 1866. Italian-British Beato was one of the first people to take photographs in East Asia

An image captured by famed photographer Felice Beato shows a group of Japanese officer in 1866. Italian-British Beato was one of the first people to take photographs in East Asia

Kotsou Watari, a 17 year old hairdresser to the officers of the Taicoun Embassy in Paris, poses for a photograph in 1864. His is one of the extraordinary images colourised by Swedish student Julius Backman Jääskeläinen

Kotsou Watari, a 17 year old hairdresser to the officers of the Taicoun Embassy in Paris, poses for a photograph in 1864. His is one of the extraordinary images colourised by Swedish student Julius Backman Jääskeläinen

A German tradesman captured an image of Japanese people taking part in a Hanami in Yokohama in 1910. The tradition sees people gathering under cherry blossoms

A German tradesman captured an image of Japanese people taking part in a Hanami in Yokohama in 1910. The tradition sees people gathering under cherry blossoms 

A group of rice farmers in Japan working on the paddy fields circa 1900 is one of a number of fascinating images documenting life in Asia which have been newly colourised

A group of rice farmers in Japan working on the paddy fields circa 1900 is one of a number of fascinating images documenting life in Asia which have been newly colourised

Two men in China in 1891 stand by the stone warriors placed at the tomb of Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty who ruled from 1368 to 1398

Two men in China in 1891 stand by the stone warriors placed at the tomb of Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty who ruled from 1368 to 1398

A smiling member of the Chinese Yan'an People's Militia stood armed with a homemade landmine in Shaanxi, China, in 1944. Yan'an became the centre of the Chinese Communist Revolution from 1935 to 1947

A smiling member of the Chinese Yan’an People’s Militia stood armed with a homemade landmine in Shaanxi, China, in 1944. Yan’an became the centre of the Chinese Communist Revolution from 1935 to 1947 

Four Japanese men look out over Lake Yamanaka from the summit of Mount Fuji, the country's tallest mountain, in 1905

Four Japanese men look out over Lake Yamanaka from the summit of Mount Fuji, the country’s tallest mountain, in 1905

Japanese tanks descend on Hubei province in China in the 1940s. The 89 Chi-Ro tanks were used by the Imperial Japanese Army in the Second World War and the Second Sino-Japanese War

Japanese tanks descend on Hubei province in China in the 1940s. The 89 Chi-Ro tanks were used by the Imperial Japanese Army in the Second World War and the Second Sino-Japanese War

In 1938, an expedition led by Harutyun Hovakimyan uncovered victims of the Armenian genocide in Turkey and Syria in 1938. Hovakimyan is seen holding a skull in Deir ez-Zur

In 1938, an expedition led by Harutyun Hovakimyan uncovered victims of the Armenian genocide in Turkey and Syria in 1938. Hovakimyan is seen holding a skull in Deir ez-Zur

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