Eliza Scidmore was a force to be reckoned with. In the late 1800s to early 1900s she traveled extensively across Asia, writing, photographing and publishing several books. She was one of the only women photographers employed by National Geographic and would later become the first woman board member of the magazine. Japan was of particular interest to Scidmore, who visited numerous times and captured everyday life in Japan over 100 years ago. Some things have changed, but some things really haven’t.
Although Scidmore passed away in Switzerland in 1928 where she had moved in her later days, as a sign of respect for her affection toward Japan she was buried in Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery. Her legacy lives on through her photographs but also through Washington DC’s annual Sakura Matsuri, which exists only because of Scidmore’s efforts to plant Japan’s cherry blossom trees, which she had grown to love so much, along the Potomac River.
You can see more of her photographs at National Geographic.