As the photo above was being taken, the crew was preparing to be boarded by Emperor Mutsuhito --- now called Emperor Meiji --- as part of a Naval Review during the Russo-Japan War.
The ship is one of Japan's greatest Cruisers of old, and was designed and built in the UK.
"......Two Asama class cruisers were purchased from Armstrong Whitworth. They proved to have the longest operational life of any vessels in the Imperial Japanese Navy. Both were scrapped after the end of World War II.
Ordered in 1897, launched 22 March 1898, and completed 18 March 1899, the Asama participated in the Boxer Rebellion, Russo-Japanese War and World War I. It later served as a training ship, and stripped of its weaponry, as a floating barracks. It survived World War II, and was scrapped in 1947....."
The two ships were the ASAMA, and the TOKIWA. The above photo shows the ASAMA
This hand-tinted silver print is by T. ENAMI, and was originally photographed as a stereoview ca.1904-05 during the Russo-Japan War. If I may brag on Enami's behalf, this is one of the better portraits of the ship you will find on the Web. Nice detailing on the flags, too !
T. ENAMI'S flickr Collection is seen here : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/collections/7215761388...
For more on the photographer himself see : www.t-enami.org/