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An Actor in the Role of Sato Norikiyo who Becomes Saigyo: An Actor in the Role of Yoshinaka
The Japanese art of Ukiyo-e (“Pictures of the floating [or sorrowful] world”) developed in the city of Edo (now Tokyo) during the Tokugawa or Edo Period (1600-1868), a relatively peaceful era during which the Tokugawa shoguns ruled Japan and made Edo the seat of power. The Ukiyo-e tradition of woodblock printing and painting continued into the 20th century. This diptych print of between 1849 and 1852 shows Saigyō surrounded by men trying to prevent him from leaving his house to become a priest. The poet Saigyō (1118-90) was born into ...
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People of Many Nations
During the nearly two centuries of restricted foreign contact during the Edo period (1600–1868), the Japanese people still maintained a curiosity about foreign cultures. This map, published in the early 19th century, depicts an enormous archipelago representing Japan at the center of the world. Inset images and descriptions of foreign people, the distance from Japan to their lands, and differences in climate are noted. The locations listed include the “Pygmy country, 14,000 ri” (1 ri = 2.4 miles), “Woman country, 14,000 ri,” and “Black people country, 75 ...
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United States of North America: Perry Arrives in Uraga, Soshu Province
Commodore Matthew C. Perry (1794–1858) of the United States Navy entered the port of Yokohama in 1853 with an intimidating fleet of steam warships, in order to force Japan to open up after nearly two centuries of restricted foreign contact. The “black ships” that he came with became a common subject for popular prints. The Japanese people were increasingly exposed to Western culture as new trade agreements prompted cross-cultural interaction, and a mixture of curiosity, awe, and anxiety at the influx of unfamiliar technology and customs can be seen ...
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Library of Congress