Messenger or postman delivering the mail clasped in the end of a split bamboo pole. Japan, around 1868-1895.
[translated part of info at flickr using Google Translator: Circa 1868-1874. Photo, hand colored, of a series of 42 prints in the collection of Spaarnestad Photo, written by Felice Beato, Kusakabe Kimbei or Baron Raimund von Stillfried.]
Image from the National Archive, Netherlands (image at flickr)
Hikyaku – were couriers or messengers active in the medieval and early modern periods, who transported currency, letters, packages, and the like.
Settlement at the Dee River crossing, Mount Morgan district, ca.1895; Dee River crossing situated between Mount Morgan and the mine. Photo by Jens Hansen Lundager; Lundager’s Album of Postcards, hand coloured; postcard in collection at John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.
The wharf, Naples, Italy; ca. 1890 – 1900; photomechanical print : photochrom, color; Detroit Publishing Company, 1905.
Library of Congress Photochrom print collection image.