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), and produced this work in 1860. In this print, a woman representing America is shown wearing a feathered headdress and riding sidesaddle on a horse in a snowy landscape.

Last updated: March 2, 2012