MATERIAL: Woodblock Printed
TYPE: Broadside (Kawaraban)
DIMENSIONS: 8 3/4 X 12 inches
CONDITION: Good shape for the age
NOTES: Very rare and original.
ITEM ID: 1745
  • Artwork
  • Artwork

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Newsprint of a Dutchman with Japanese prostitute

Decade: 1830s
Century: 19th (1801-1900)

Japanese print kawaraban newsprint of a Dutchman with Japanese prostitute, Dejima, Nagasaki. There is a list of words used in communicating with the Dutch, and an image of a Dutchman dancing while a woman plays the shamisen.

However, according to scholar Peter Kornicki, “I do not think it is meant to be a Dutchman. The caption says Tōjin, which literally means Tang person, ie Chinese. Now I know that sometimes it was used generically to refer to all foreigners, but if you look at the vocabulary it is clear that Chinese words (Ningpo dialect?) are being presented not Dutch. After all, the very first items has the foreign word written in characters and the equivalents for inkstone, writing brush, etc are given. The Chinese community in Nagasaki was far bigger than the Dutch. “