Visualizing Cultures

Black Ships & Samurai, Lesson 02

The American-Japanese Encounter:
Multiple Perspectives in Art

Black Ships & Samurai Handout 02-C | Printer-friendly PDF file

1. Now that you have completed your analysis of the “Black Ships,” “Encounters,” and “Portraits” sections of the unit, make three general statements below about the American art and the Japanese art that captured the encounter between Perry’s mission and the Japanese in 1853.

2. What did you notice about the style of the American art?

3. What did you notice about the variety of styles of the Japanese art? (Be sure to read the accompanying text near the artwork to find out as much information as you can about the art that you are viewing.)

4. From all the images at your disposal in these three sections of the Essay, select two images—one American and one Japanese—that could serve as the cover art for a book about the encounters between Japan and the United States through the 1853-1854 Perry expeditions in Japan. Explain your choice by describing what the images reveal about this historic encounter.

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