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May 03 , 2010

The Japanese in Pictures 1863 & 1868, Illustrated.


This series of illustrated articles introduced Japan and the Japanese people to the American public in the mid nineteenth century. The impressions of the printed pictures and the words illustrating them were one of the elements that defined Japanese culture in the American mind for many years after their publication. Guernsey, writing in 1863, reports on the three year visit of Sir Rutherford Alcock who spent three years as British Minister to the Court of the Tycoon. There are three reports, Life in the capital covers city life in the “Capital of the Tycoon; Rural Life Paints a picture of life in rural Japan, among the farmers and the small towns; Institutions and Policies explores the Japanese people and the government policies and institutions that shaped their lives. Abbott gives us a report written in 1868 which highlights the further opening of the country and a better understanding of the culture and life of the Japanese people than the earlier series.

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