People from Foreign Lands: Chinese, French


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. This print, published in 1861, is by Ochiai (Utagawa) Yoshiiku (1833–1904), who was a student of the popular ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798–1861), and cofounded the Tokyo Nichi-Nichi newspaper, the first daily published in Tokyo. It depicts a Frenchman seated in a chair and holding a goblet while a Chinese man stands next to him, gesturing in conversation. Descriptions of both countries appear on the recto of the print.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Marutetsu, Japan


Title in Original Language

外國人物圖畫 南京 佛蘭西

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print on hōsho paper : woodcut, color ; 32.5 x 22 centimeters (block), 36 x 24.8 centimeters (sheet)


  • From series entitled: Gaikoku jinbutsu (People from foreign lands).

Last updated: March 9, 2012