The showcases behind Namikawa contain, on the right hand side, jars of the various colours of powdered glass used for cloisonn work and, on the left, examples of finished pieces. Ponting records that he employed ten craftsmen and two polishers (all shown here) and that his spotlessly clean workshop was only twenty feet long.
The photographs include street scenes, travel by kago [palanquin], agriculture, fishery, temples, etc., and have copyright dates of 1896 and 1904. Many, perhaps all, of the latter date were taken for Underwood and Underwood by Herbert Ponting, who worked in Japan between 1900 and 1904. In 1911 he accompanied Scott on his fateful expedition to the Antarctic, taking many famous stills and also movie shots, while at the same time teaching various other members of the expedition photography. In the long darkness of the polar winter he entertained the others with lantern slide lectures about his years in Japan. Four of the present set, nos. 19, 39, 62 and 81, together with an alternative shot of the Namikawa studio very similar to the one in this set, are in reproduced in Ponting's book In Lotus Land Japan, which was first published on the day he embarked with Scott for the Antarctic.
Okuma, while Finance Minister, concluded an agreement with the USA and Germany and was in the process of making the same agreement with Britain with regard to foreign judges sitting in Japanese courts for trials involving foreign nationals when, the proposal arousing strong public opposition, he was injured by a bomb in an assassination attempt outside the Foreign Ministry building in 1889. Although doctors managed to save his life, they were obliged to amputate his right leg which was preserved in formaldehyde and put on display in the entrance to the Foreign Ministry building, where it remained, according to report in The Japan Times (August 1998), until recently.