Woodcut and watercolor on paper
A depiction of admiration for foreign products of culture introduced into Japan in the Edo period.
에도시대에 도래한 이국의 문물에 대한 동경을 그림
Even during the period of national seclusion, a variety of European products of culture were introduced to Japan through trade with Holland. They were articles imported by early European traders. The strange-looking people with their heads stuck to their shoulders are nambanjin (southern barbarians), who were depicted on ceramics and lacquer ware produced in Japan. Depicted on both sides of the namban ship behind them are items such as glass vessels and German Bartmann jugs. In 1948, Kawakami Sumio visited Kurofunekan, a museum in Kashiwazaki and sketched numerous works in their collection. This print was made by combining the sketches he did on that occasion. In that case, perhaps even the namban ship is not based on prints overflowing with the atmosphere of the Edo period called nagasaki-e, which Kawakami Sumio always referred to, but on the toy namban ship he saw at Kurofunekan. It is a representation that only Kawakami Sumio would have been capable of doing having been obsessed with the charm of a reproduction unidentifiable in the original.