Yokohama Boomtown Image Gallery / Y0104_Residence_all
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(a, b) Yokohama torai ishō jūka no zu: Horutogaru, Minami Amerika; (d) Yokohama torai shōnin: Furoisen koku danjo no zu; (e) Amerikakoku: Uenriito

Title: Picture of the Residence of a Foreign Merchant from Overseas: Portugal and South America (a,b); Yokohama Merchants from Overseas: Picture of a Prussian Couple (d); America: Van Reed (e)"
Artist: Sadahide (1807-ca. 1878)
Format: Woodblock print
Medium: Ink and color on paper
Dimensions: pentatych: each approx. 34.8 x27.6 cm (13 11/16 x10 3/4 in.)
Source: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

The setting of this composite five-print set is a residential compound in Yokohama's foreign quarter. In the print at the far left an American on horseback is shown entering the gate from the street, where a Japanese commoner carries a large burden wrapped in a sizable cloth (furoshiki). The couple in the adjacent courtyard is identified in the caption as Prussian. The center print of the pentaptych shows servants specified as Chinese and perhaps Indian. The two prints at the far right show the entrance to the residence where the women and children are designated as South American and Portuguese. Neither Prussia nor Portugal had a commercial treaty in force in 1861, when this print was published, yet Sadahide's print reflects accurately the presence of merchants from those nations. Portuguese merchants had been doing business in Yokohama since 1859. Prussia negotiated a treaty the year Sadahide made this print Of special interest is the portrait of the dashing American on horseback, which identifies its subject by name. The caption suggests that the figure may be Eugene Van Reed, an American who maintained close relations with the lord of Satsuma domain in Kyushu; Van Reed even succeeded in negotiating a private treaty to handle foreign trade for Satsuma. Sadahide captures Van Reed's bold, charismatic personality. The subject is pictured frontally, holding his riding crop in his raised left hand, and his saddle is ornamented with a striking pattern. The portrayal of Van Reed appears more than once in Sadahide's work; it is not inconceivable that the artist saw Van Reed or even made preparatory sketches for the prints. [Adapted from Ann Yonemura, Yokohama: Prints from Nineteenth-Century Japan]

Visualizing Cultures image number: Y0104

Keywords: Westerners, foreign settlement, Americans, Yokohama, animals, Prussians, Germans, Chinese, Indians, servants, South Americans, Portuguese, Eugene Van Reed, foreign children, horseback riding

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