1859 Sadahide Panoramic View of Yokohama

御開港横濱之全圖 / [Complete Map of the Open Port of Yokohama]. - Main View

1859 Sadahide Panoramic View of Yokohama


Opening of Yokohama.


御開港横濱之全圖 / [Complete Map of the Open Port of Yokohama].
  1859 (undated)     27 x 76 in (68.58 x 193.04 cm)


An epic work by one of Japan's master woodblock printers of the era, this is Utagawa Sadahide's 1859 very large panorama of the port of Yokohama - considered the first and finest early map of Yokohama. Packed with fascinating details, it depicts the city during a period of frenetic development, soon after opening as a treaty port, after which it quickly became the locus of trade and intellectual exchange with the outside world.
A Closer Look
Oriented towards the southwest, this monumental view takes in the emerging treaty port of Yokohama and the villages surrounding it. In the background at top-right is Mount Fuji, providing a clear landmark. A legend at bottom-left explains the color-coding of labels used throughout, with white indicating government offices (御役屋) and Shinto shrines, gold for Buddhist temples, light blue for areas where foreigners resided and operated trading warehouses (屋舖), and red for villages, neighborhoods, and mountains. A second legend of sorts at center towards left explains symbols that look to have been intended for the Japanese part of the city, though they do not appear to have actually been placed in the view.

Though not labelled so here, the dense town at center surrounded by water is Kannai (関内), where foreigners lived and conducted trade. Above Kannai is Minatozaki (港崎町), a red-light district modeled on Edo's infamous Yoshiwara that had been arranged during discussions around the same treaty (the Harris Treaty) that opened Yokohama to foreign trade. The district was meant to avoid disputes over rape of Japanese women by foreigners, which could quickly explode into violence.

Two docks appear near center, one for goods coming in from abroad and one for exports ('cargo from Edo'). Near the docks are government offices that formed a sort of rudimentary customs service as well as a forest dedicated to the Water God Suijin. Later, this area became the site of foreign consulates (it also was the site where Commodore Matthew Perry and his Japanese counterparts signed the Treaty of Kanagawa in 1854). One of the trees in the forest was a large camphor tree known as Tamakusu, which was already more than a century old when Yokohama opened to foreign trade. It ended up within the grounds of the British Consulate and survived terrible fires in 1866 and 1923 (the Great Kanto Earthquake). It was moved slightly after the 1923 fire, but remains today on the same site, now the Yokohama Archives of History Museum.

To the left and behind the foreign section is the original fishing village of Yokohama (横浜村 and 横浜本村). Above it are three cemeteries that are shaded gold, the same as Buddhist temples; two for 'foreigners' (that is, Westerners 外國人墓) and one for 'Nanjing people' (南京人墓), which likely refers to any Chinese person and not only natives of the city. To the right of the foreign area and docks is the emerging city inhabited by Japanese traders and other residents. Further to the right (west) is a temple dating to the 12th or 13th century that was dedicated to Benzaiten (弁才天), a fascinating deity characteristic of Japan's syncretic religious context, who served as the town's protector. In the years after this view's publication, an equestrian field and a school for English were built near the Benzaiten temple, reflecting the growing foreign influence in Yokohama. Today, this area is home to Yokohama City Hall and Sakuragichō Station.

Ships of various sizes ply the harbor. Foreign ships display the flags of their country, several of which appear to be invented or only loosely based on actual flags. In the foreground and around the edges of the view are villages, temples, and other sites predating Yokohama's opening as a port. Text at top-left provides a brief explanation of the background of the port's opening and of Yokohama's geography. A small compass rose at bottom towards left includes both cardinal directions and Earthly Branches, traditionally used in compasses in East Asia.
The Yokohama Road
At right are the Hiranuma Bridge (平沼橋) and Aratama Bridge (新田間橋). The road (横浜道) running along these bridges was rapidly constructed in the weeks before the port opened to foreign trade to connect Yokohama to Kanagawa (Kanagawa-juku, see below) and the Tokaido. Prior to that time, travel between the two areas was inconvenient and the routes were circuitous to avoid wetlands, cliffs, mountains, and other natural impediments. In 1869, a horse-drawn omnibus began to operate along the same route and in 1872 Japan's first railway traversed the same route, reaching all the way to Tokyo.
Yokohama - Japan's Gateway to the Outside World
Sadahide is most closely associated with Yokohama-e (橫濱繪), a genre which he largely defined, depicting foreigners and the cultural interactions between Japan and the outside world that took place in Yokohama. Although Japan had reluctantly signed a 'Treaty of Peace and Amity' with the United States in 1854, opening the door for greater foreign presence and influence in Japan, the terms were quite vague until a subsequent treaty, the Treaty of Amity and Commerce (also known as the Harris Treaty), was signed in 1858, opening Japanese ports to foreign trade. Other foreign powers piled into Japan to sign similar treaties stipulating rights for their nationals to trade and reside in certain Japanese ports. The most important of these 'treaty ports' were Nagasaki and Yokohama, the former having been a major port for centuries, the latter much less so.

The foreign powers demanded a port near Edo (Tokyo), understanding that the capital itself was not an option. Yokohama was primarily chosen because the most obvious choice, Kanagawa-juku, a nearby coastal station on the Tōkaidō, was opposed by the Shogun. Much like Shanghai in China, Yokohama grew rapidly and became the main conduit for the exchange of people, goods, and ideas between Japan and the outside world.

Artists, Sadahide chief among them, rushed to depict the new visitors, who were regarded with both curiosity and revulsion, but in either case were an object of keen interest throughout Japan. Aside from Western traders, Chinese merchants and workers also resided in Yokohama, establishing an important Chinese community there, still the largest Chinatown in Japan.

As the city itself was a product of the treaty port system, Yokohama was quick to embrace foreign technology, and Japan's first major rail line was opened from Yokohama to Edo (by then renamed Tokyo) in 1872. Eventually, Yokohama would grow to swallow up Kanagawa-juku and other nearby towns, becoming the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture and the second largest city in Japan.
Publication History and Census
This view was drawn and engraved by Utagawa Sadahide; it is dated Ansei 6, corresponding to 1859 or early 1860. Sugita Kinsuka(杉田金助) and Asakura Tetsugorō (朝倉鉄五郎) are also noted as engravers (鎸). It was published by Hōzendō Maruya Tokuzō (宝善堂丸屋徳造). It is cataloged among the holdings of some 18 institutions worldwide. The University of British Columbia holds a later edition that adds many features, including a large bridge at right, the Yokosuka Ironworks, and extensive new development around Kannei. This view should be distinguished from a very similarly titled, contemporaneous map (御開港横濱之圖) by Utagawa Yoshikazu (歌川芳員), a member of the same Utagawa School as Sadahide, which is an 'overhead' city plan rather than a bird's eye view. It is also worth noting that the present view is roughly the opposite view from that depicted by Sadahide soon afterwards in a six-panel view (橫濱大湊細見之圖), dated 1860, that is also sold by us.


Sadahide Hashimoto (橋本貞秀; ハシモト, サダヒデ; 1807 - 1878), also known as Gountei Sadahide (五雲亭貞秀) and Hashimoto Gyokuran (橋本玉蘭), was a Japanese artist active in Yokohama in the second half of the 19th century. He was born in Chiba Prefecture. Hashimoto is best known for his renderings of foreigners, in particular Western peoples and customs, as observed while living in the open port of Yokohama. He is considered to be a disciple of Takako Kunisada, another artist of the Toyokuni Utagawa school, earning him the name Utagawa Sadahide (歌川貞秀). Hashimoto met Kunisada in 1826, when he was 14 years old and most of his early work reflects the work of Kunisada. Even before the Bankumatsu period, Sadahide took an interest in distant and foreign lands, publishing an important and controversial account of the First Opium War between Britain and Qing China (Kaigai Shinwa, 海外新話) with the scholar Mineta Fūkō (嶺田楓江). Following the 'opening of Japan' in 1853, he produced a series of prints of Ainu people in Kita Ezo zusetsu (北蝦夷図説) as well as a world map that was likely based on a Dutch original (https://www.geographicus.com/P/AntiqueMap/world-mineta-1853), also with Mineta. He developed an interest in geography and began issuing maps and bird's-eye views, some quite large over multiple panels, of Japanese cities. At the very end of the Tokugawa period, he moved to Nagasaki and was selected as part of a Japanese delegation to the International Exposition of 1867. Sadahide died about a decade later, living long enough to see the rapid transofrmation of Japan following the Meiji Restoration. He was a mentor to Hideki Utagawa. More by this mapmaker...


Very good. Slight wear on old fold lines, especially where attached to binder.


OCLC 43443350, 663476290.