Utagawa Hiroshige II (1826-1869)
True View of the Harbor at Yokohama near Kanagawa (Kanagawa Yokohama minato shinkei) and Picture of the Waterfront at Yokohama (Yokohama kaigan zue), 1860
Color woodblock print
14 1/2 x 60 inches (36.8 x 152.4 cm)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gift of
Eli Kirk Price, 1950
In 1858 Yokohama, a fishing village near Edo (present-day Tokyo), was established as a port and trading station for five nations: France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Russia, and the United States. By the end of the nineteenth century, Yokohama was a major port and entryway for Westerners into Japan. This 1860 print spanning six sheets shows a panoramic view of the city and harbor. Along the right, a steady stream of Japanese travelers are making their way to and from the city, while on the left, the harbor is filled with ships bringing goods to Japan. Hiroshige II invites the viewer to imagine looking at this scene through a telescope, just like the woman at the lower left, and frames the scene with golden clouds along the borders, a trope common in traditional Japanese paintings.