Japan Art and Yoshikazu: Foreigners enter in pre-Meiji

Japan Art and Yoshikazu: Foreigners enter in pre-Meiji

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Utagawa Yoshikazu is especially famous for highlighting early foreigners entering Japan during the dying days of the Edo Period. Accordingly, Yoshikazu’s pre-Meiji Period (1868-1912) art provides a glimpse into the changing nature of society concerning the foreign angle.

Yoshikazu was famous for his Yokohama-e prints highlighting the important treaty port of Yokohama. However, he also produced landscapes and historical Japanese themes.

The Portland Art Museum says, “Yoshikazu was one of some thirty artists who produced hundreds of designs during the years immediately following the establishment of Yokohama as a treaty port in 1859. The prints publicized the appearance of foreigners on Japanese soil and provided the public with insights into their customs.”

He studied under the acclaimed Utagawa Kuniyoshi. All the images connected to Yokohama-e were completed in the early 1860s.

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