MATERIAL: Woodblock Printed
TYPE: Broadside (Kawaraban)
DIMENSIONS: 9 X 11 inches
NOTES: This is something I've never seen before; It is almost impossible to find kawaraban featuring France and this is a rare one.
ITEM ID: 957
  • Artwork
  • Artwork
  • Artwork

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Kawaraban with Image of Napoleon lll

Year: 1861
Decade: 1850s
Century: 19th (1801-1900)

Japanese kawaraban featuring an image of Napoleon lll. There are also woodblocks of French, Russian, Dutch and Korean coinage. This rare kawaraban newsprint was probably made for the signing of the 1858 Treaty of Amity and Commerce with France (also signed w/ US, Great Britain, Russia, and Holland). The Japanese had some interest in France since it was Napoleon who sent warships to Vietnam and other Asian nations. France was seen as a major naval power in the region. In 1867 the Japanese government asked Napoleon to send military experts to train their newly established Imperial army and navy. These troops were used in the Boshin Civil War of 1868 which firmly established the Meiji government and put an end to the Shogun’s power as well as the ruling by the Samurai class. Culturally, France was viewed as an important center of the arts and the Japanese sent artists and artisans to the French Exposition in 1868.