A World in Print; Foreigners in Japan's Early Modern Bankoku Jinbutsu-Zu
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Japanese woodblock prints featuring foreigners that appeared after the opening of ports such as Yokohama to international trade in the mid-nineteenth century are broadly referred to as Yokohama-e (or “Yokohama Pictures”). While there are already seminal studies that document the representation of Western peoples in Yokohama-e, those of Asian peoples have not yet received equal attention. This thesis focuses on a group of prints that include the word “all nations” (bankoku) in their titles, particularly those of Utagawa Yoshiiku. Although these prints are currently considered a type of Yokohama-e, they are distinctively different from typical Yokohama-e in their scope, particularly in its inclusion of many Asian and mythical peoples. This study investigates how this group of “pictures of the peoples of all nations” (bankoku jinbutsu-zu) functioned as popular guides to the nations of the world and reflected the domestic new awareness for Japan’s role within it.