Yokohama Boomtown Image Gallery / Y0072_GermanShip
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Shinhatsumei: Doitsukoku gunkan naikaku kikai no zu

Title: New Invention: Picture of the Interior Works of a German Battleship
Artist: Unsen (fl. ca. 1875)
Format: Woodblock print
Medium: Ink and color on paper
Dimensions: triptych: 35.5 x70.3 cm (14 x27 3/4 in.)
Source: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Technological innovation and the interiors of Western naval vessels continued to interest the artists of Yokohama prints even after Japan established its Navy Ministry in 1872. Unsen, an artist who specialized in depicting Western ships, portrays in this triptych of 1874 the interior rooms of a new battleship from Germany. Prussia and the North German Confederation had negotiated a commercial treaty with Japan in 1861, and the first Prussian consulate in Japan was established the following year. The battleship's hull nearly fills the picture, so that only a portion of the rigging can be discerned. The deck teems with activity, including men working in the ropes. Below the deck, living quarters (those for officers to the right, and those for men of lower rank to the left and below) and rooms housing guns, ammunition, ropes, anchors, horses, and provisions are labeled with captions. [Adapted from Ann Yonemura, Yokohama: Prints from Nineteenth-Century Japan]

Visualizing Cultures image number: Y0072

Keywords: Germany, Germans, Prussians, animals, weaponry, military soldiers, Westerners, ships

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