Yokohama Boomtown Image Gallery / Y0103_American_smoking
Previous Home Next
Bankoku jinbutsu no uchi: Amerikajin

Title: Among the People of All Nations: Americans
Artist: Kuniaki II (1835-1888)
Format: Woodblock print
Medium: Ink and color on paper
Dimensions: 33.8 x23.1 cm (13 5/16 x9 3/32 in.)
Source: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Kuniaki's print is one of many Yokohama prints that represent couples of various nations. The costumes reflect the artist's confusion concerning the details of Western attire: the woman is dressed in the fashionable full skirt of the period but wears an oddly designed jacket that fastens in the manner of a Chinese garment; the man carries a sabre and wears a jacket with the ornaments of a military uniform but his informal woven hat and shoes are completely incongruous. When this print was published in 1861 cigarettes and cigars were still a novelty in Japan, although tobacco had been introduced there, probably by Portuguese or Spanish traders, in the late sixteenth-century. [Adapted from Ann Yonemura, Yokohama: Prints from Nineteenth-Century Japan]

Visualizing Cultures image number: Y0103

Keywords: Westerners, tobacco

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

Massachusetts Institute of Technology © 2014 Visualizing Cultures