Exhibitions/ Art Object

Foreign Merchants in Japanese Trade Port

Edo period (1615–1868)
early 19th century
Six-panel folding screen; ink and color on paper
Image: 27 5/8 x 103 7/8 in. (70.2 x 263.8 cm) Overall: 33 x 109 in. (83.8 x 276.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1957
Accession Number:
Not on view
Things foreign enjoyed great popularity in sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Japan, and a number of genre paintings in the screen format were devoted to the curiosity and artistic interest aroused by the presence of Portuguese and Spanish traders at port. The exotic costumes of Jesuit priests, Christian icons, strange animals, and oddities like clocks and guns all found their way into Japanese painting. These diminutive screens, created later in the Edo period, are a pastiche of earlier Nanban (“Southern Barbarian”) scenes, and shows the foreign traders who imported rare birds. They reprise the genre at a time when foreign presence in Japan was once again a major impact on Japanese culture after a long period of limited international relations.
Related Objects

Gibbons in a Landscape

Artist: Sesson Shūkei (ca. 1504–ca. 1589) Date: ca. 1570 Medium: Pair of six-panel screens; ink on paper Accession: 1992.8.1, .2 On view in:Gallery 225


Artist: Ikeda Koson (Japanese, 1803–1868) Date: mid-19th century Medium: Two-panel folding screen; ink on paper Accession: 2015.300.97 On view in:Gallery 227

Puppies in the Snow

Artist: Nagasawa Rosetsu (Japanese, 1754–1799) Date: late 18th century Medium: Set of four sliding panels hinged together as a pair of two-panel screens; ink and color on paper Accession: 2015.300.203.1, .2 On view in:Gallery 228

Orchid Pavilion Gathering; Autumn Landscape

Artist: Ike Taiga (Japanese, 1723–1776) Date: ca. 1763 Medium: Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink and color on paper Accession: 2015.300.163.1, .2 On view in:Not on view

Taking Shelter from the Rain

Artist: Hanabusa Itchō (Japanese, 1652–1724) Date: after 1709 Medium: Six-panel folding screen; ink and color on paper Accession: 2015.300.83 On view in:Gallery 226