Original Yoshitora (active circa 1840 - 1880) Japanese Woodblock Print
People of the Five Nations Eating and Drinking, 1862
Yokohama-e - Yokohama-e are prints depicting foreigners in Yokohama after Japan was opened to trade with the West the 1850s. Previously, Japan had been closed to international trade with only a few strict exceptions, leading to curiosity among the Japanese about the new foreign arrivals and their strange clothing and customs. Many Yokohama-e designs featured people from the "Five Nations," the five countries that signed trade treaties with Japan in 1858: America, England, the Netherlands, Russia, and France. Others were fanciful depictions of foreign cities, often based on Western illustrations rather than direct observation. These prints proved popular, with hundreds of Yokohama-e published between 1859 and about 1880. These wonderful images provide a great look at this historic time period, using the traditional art form of Japanese woodblock prints to record a new subject.
Comments - Handsome scene of foreigners inside a merchant's house in Yokohama. At left, men sit at a cloth-covered table laden with food and drink. Behind them, men chat on a verandah as they view the ships in the harbor. At right, a man wearing a blue jacket, checked pants, and a tall black hat with an insignia on it gestures as he speaks with a woman wearing a fitted bodice over a full hoop skirt, and a bonnet trimmed with a ruffle. An intriguing look at the foreign quarter in Yokohama, nicely detailed.
Artist - Yoshitora (active circa 1840 - 1880)
Image Size - 13 3/8" x 26 1/2"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Remnants of paper hinge mounts on reverse at top edge. Small tear and slight thinning at edge, repaired. Slight soiling. Please see photos for details.