This image puts us in the middle of a streambed in an ancient Japanese village, looking upstream. Wooden houses delicately perched on stilts line its right bank, and the creek’s steep sides are reinforced with intricately stacked stones. A perfectly shaped tree leans out over the water, which glitters here and there among the rocks. If you look closely, a figure on a far-off bridge looks out at the photographer.The photograph is blurred at the corners, which provides a kind of frame, giving us the sense that we are peering directly into a bygone time and place. The photographer was one of the first photojournalists, traveling to the then-exotic Far East to capture images for Western armchair travellers.