rangaku

Yoshiiku’s “Bankoku” (All nations) print is a true masterpiece of realism and humor in late Edo art. It shows how Yoshiiku exhaled the air he inhaled in the creative atmosphere of Kuniyoshi’s tutelage. Kuniyoshi died in 1861, the year this print was published. It is somehow appropriate to think of it as Yoshiiku’s tribute to his mentor’s talent for treating the serious and absurd with impartial irreverence.

The print is literally a “Drawing of figures of men and women of all nations” except Japan and a number of other countries, some of them listed on the banner at the top, others not. Europeans and Asians are fairly evenly represented, and some imaginary peoples are thrown in for good laughs.

The people are identified by cartouches, which have been translated from right to left, as the print is meant to be read. Lower middleground cartouches are in the Foreground list. Upper middleground cartouches are in the Background list.

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This is an abbreviated edition of the Haruma wage (Edo Haruma), and is edited and published by Fujibayashi Fuzan (Taisuke, 1781-1836) who was a pupil of Inamura Sanpaku (1758-1811). The formal name of this dictionary is Nederduitche TAAL. Yakken. It consists of three volumes, the Ken and Kon volumes and an appendix, and contains approximately 30,000 entries. This is the second-oldest Dutch-Japanese dictionary published in Japan.