American, French, Chinese


After nearly two centuries of restricted foreign contact, Japan was increasingly exposed to Western culture in the 1850s as new trade agreements prompted cross-cultural interaction. The influx of unfamiliar technology and customs incited anxiety as well as awe among the Japanese populace, and their strong curiosity is evident in the detailed depictions of foreign subjects by ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world) artists. Hiroshige II (circa 1826–69) was the pupil and adopted son of the great landscape master, Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858). In this 1860 print, Hiroshige II illustrates three spectators viewing an unseen object or event beyond the frame. A woman holds a drinking vessel as she sits beside a man gazing through binoculars while a Chinese man touches his head. The three show the artist’s vision of American, French, and Chinese people.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Kinrindō, Japan


Title in Original Language

亜墨利加 仏蘭西 南京

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print on hōsho paper : woodcut, color ; 35 x 25.2 centimeters (block), 25 x 25.2 centimeters (sheet)

Last updated: March 5, 2012