Yokohama Boomtown Image Gallery / Y0144_Amusements
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Bushū Yokohama gaikokujin yūgyō no zu

Title: Picture of Amusements of Foreigners in Yokohama in Bushū (Modern Musashi Province)
Artist: Yoshitora (fl. ca. 1850-80)
Format: Woodblock print
Medium: Ink and color on paper
Dimensions: triptych: 36.3 x74.4 cm (14 5/16 x29 1/4 in.)
Source: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

In this fanciful composition that compresses and juxtaposes scenes in and around Yokohama, Yoshitora has combined many scenes of the port city taken from his individual prints. The foreigners in the foreground are shown using a variety of transportation, from horses to a large carriage labeled "an official going out." A Chinese man is carried aboard a palanquin designated "Nanking palanquin." The ubiquitous equestrian woman in the pineapple-crown hat and the man riding at gallop with a Japanese groom rushing behind can be recognized from other Yokohama prints, such as Y0108 and Y0121. Several images from Yoshitora's "Eight Views of Yokohama" (see Y0118-Y0123), published in the same month of 1861 as this print, appear in this composite composition. In the distance, at the upper right, a Japanese merchant shows his wares to two Western customers. Two Chinese men, virtually identical to the Chinese men in the winter scene from "Eight Views of Yokohama" (Y0123), stand outside. In the center panel is a scene of a party in a brothel in Miyozaki, Yokohama's entertainment district. Two women dance to the music of samisen played by a geisha seated incongruously while several Western men enjoy sake and other refreshments. The label identifies the setting of the left panel as Gankirō, the establishment in Miyozaki that catered to foreign clients. The top of the panel shows a performance of Kabuki, a subject portrayed in another print of Yoshitora's "Eight Views of Yokohama" series (see Y0120) but here the audience consists of Western men instead of Chinese. The scene comes from a famous kabukiplay Yoshitsune senbonzakura, which is based on a historic story of the flight of Minamoto Yoshitsune from his rival and brother, the shogun Yoritomo. [Adapted from Ann Yonemura, Yokohama: Prints from Nineteenth-Century Japan]

Visualizing Cultures image number: Y0144

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