Yokohama Boomtown Image Gallery / Y0070_Steamer
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Jōkisen no zenzu: kaijō Uraga no fūkei

Title: Complete Picture of a Steamship Scenery of Uraga from the Sea
Artist: Sadahide (1807-ca. 1878)
Format: Woodblock print
Medium: Ink and color on paper
Dimensions: triptych: 37 x7401 cm (14 9/16 x29 3/16 in.)
Source: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Description: With manifest pride Sadahide created this triptych print showing a modern paddle-wheel steamer flying the Japanese flag. On deck is an entirely Japanese crew, dressed in traditional Japanese kimono and armed with samurai swords. Uraga, site of Commodore Perry's landing in 1853 on the Miura Peninsula, appears at the extreme left of the distant landscape. By 1863, when Complete Picture of a Steamship was published, several large Western-built ships were sailing under the Japanese flag. The successful official voyage in 1860 of the Japanese crew of the Kanrin Maru to the United States had become a source of national self-esteem. This print by Sadahide, who had devoted so much enthusiasm toward studying Western customs in Yokohama, seems to express his veneration for Japan's mastery of the new naval technology. Ten years after Commodore Perry's black ships made their abrupt entrance into Japanese history, a Japanese ship glides loftily past Uraga, momentarily framing Mount Fuji between its mast and smokestack. [Adapted from Ann Yonemura, Yokohama: Prints from Nineteenth-Century Japan]

Visualizing Cultures image number: Y0070

Keywords: Uraga, Japanese, Miura Peninsula, Japan, steamships, flags, Mount Fuji

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