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Americans Strolling About

Utagawa Yoshifuji , (Japanese, 1828-1887)
Edo period

Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H: 35.4 W: 24.6 cm
Yokohama, Japan

Gift of the Daval Foundation, from the Collection of Ambassador and Mrs. William Leonhart S1991.150

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The Japanese word for Americans, Amerikajin, is written in roman script that has been divided awkwardly into syllables so that the letters correspond as closely as possible to Japanese phonetic script and fit into the vertical frame for the title. The father is depicted smoking a cigar, a form of tobacco that was probably introduced into Japan by American residents of Yokohama. Tobacco had been smoked in elongated pipes since its inception by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century.