|This photograph is interesting on several levels first of which is the subject in relation to the location. This faded image
shows an American soldier from around 1900 who was photographed by a Japanese photographer W. Hirota of Tainan,
"Japan". I put Japan in quotes since Tainan is actually located on the then named island of Formosa. Formosa had been
occupied by Japan in 1895 and was viewed by the Japanese and part of Japan itself hence the somewhat confusing
location given on the card mount. I have not been able to find any reference to United States troops ever being stationed
or deployed on Formosa prior to the end of World War II which leads me to believe that this photograph may have
actually been taken in China around the time of the Boxer Rebellion or soon afterward. The possibility exists that Mr.
Hirota traveled to China and simply took his existing stock of cabinet photograph mounting cards with him and used
them while on location in China.
W Hirota - Photographer
Tainan, Japan (Formosa)