Yokohama Boomtown Image Gallery / Y0110_French_wine
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Gokakoku no uchi: Furansujin

Title: Among the Five Nations: The French
Artist: Kunihisa (1882-1891)
Format: Woodblock print
Medium: Ink and color on paper
Dimensions: 34.8 x23.5 cm (13 11/16 x9 1/4 in.)
Source: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

The text of this print is a Japanese-French dictionary of a sequence of words similar to that in Y0109 and Y0111. As the transliterations reflect, the sounds of spoken French were even more problematic than English to approximate in Japanese: "Ten is called 'shiiru[ciel]; nichiis "yoyuru" [jour]; getsu is 'moisu' [mois]; kumois "nyue" [nuée]…" The illustration of a French couple features a woman prepared to serve wine into a stemmed glass held by a man seated awkwardly in an oddly shaped chair. Western alcoholic beverages were imported in large quantities to Yokohama, where drinking parties were perhaps the most popular entertainment. [Adapted from Ann Yonemura, Yokohama: Prints from Nineteenth-Century Japan]

Visualizing Cultures image number: Y0110

Keywords: French, Westerners, foreign languages, alcohol, "Five Nations," entertainment

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