Yokohama Boomtown Image Gallery / Y0094_Procession
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Yokohama gaikokujin gyōretsu no zu

Title: Picture of a Procession of Foreigners at Yokohama
Artist: Yoshikazu (fl. ca. 1850-70)
Format: Woodblock print
Medium: Ink and color on paper
Dimensions: triptych: 36.4 x73.7 cm (14 5/16 x29 1/16 in.)
Source: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Processions of high officials and provincial lords(daimyō) were frequent spectacles, often captured in Japanese artwork during the Edo period (1600-1868). The infrequent but even more noteworthy processions of Korean embassies to Japan were also a popular subject. The title of this print recalls those familiar parades of dignitaries. Instead of using a Japanese palanquin, a vehicle borne by men, the foreign couple rides in an open carriage drawn by a pair of horses. At the front of the entourage an American flag is carried aloft, like the tall standards of daimyō processions that warned of the lord's approach. Armed military guards and a fife-and-drum band accompany the retinue, which has many elements of a typical American parade. Not likely to represent an actual event in Yokohama, the scene depicted here is rather a reprise of a common Japanese theme but with a new cast of characters. Some of the details of the procession, such as the carriage, military uniforms, and top hats, probably were adapted from Western news illustrations of the visit in 1860 of the first Japanese embassy to the United States. The buildings in the background, however, appear to depict the compound occupied by the British firm Jardine Matheson & Company, located on lot number one on the Bund, adjacent to the customhouse on the Yokohama waterfront. It can be seen in the left panel behind the Japanese passersby who gaze at the American parade. [Adapted from Ann Yonemura, Yokohama: Prints from Nineteenth-Century Japan]

Visualizing Cultures image number: Y0094

Keywords: Westerners, Yokohama, United States, flag, parades, carriages, weaponry, animals, Jardine Matheson & Company, military, Americans, musical instruments, art influences from traditional Japanese art, art influences from the West

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