Yokohama Boomtown Image Gallery / Y0064_Harbor
Previous Home Next

Yokohama kōeki seiyōjin nimotsu unsō no zu
Title: Picture of Western Traders at Yokohama Transporting Merchandise
Artist: Sadahide (1807-ca. 1878)
Format: Woodblock print
Medium: Ink and color on paper
Dimensions: pentatych: 37.2 x127 cm (14 5/8 x50 in.)
Source: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Description: Ships large and small visually dominate this dramatic and unprecedented print design, but Picture of Western Traders at Yokohama is rich in observant details that invites close examination. The American ship in the foreground loads cargo from smaller boats that are rowed to its anchorage in the bay. The gangplank has a continuous procession of workers of various nationalities who bring cargo aboard in barrels and crates, while a clerk makes notes from the deck and sailors climb the rigging. Women observe the activity through the glass windows of the nearby French ship. Details of the lavish interior furnishing the Russian ship at the far right are visible through its windows. In the distance are a Dutch steamer and a British sailing ship, the latter with its rigging full of sailors who look like acrobats. At the same time sadahide's graceful depictions of the roll and splash of waves reflects traditional conventions of Japanese art. [Adapted from Ann Yonemura, Yokohama: Prints from Nineteenth-Century Japan]

Visualizing Cultures image number: Y0064

Keywords: flags, Yokohama, "Five Nations," France, French, Great Britain, British, United States, Americans, Netherlands, Dutch, Russia, Russians, trade goods, steamships, ships, weaponry, art influences from traditional Japanese art

        On viewing images of a potentially disturbing nature: click here.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology © 2014 Visualizing Cultures