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First Impressions: The U.S. and Japan

Mar 7 2011
Instructions
Scroll painting, Request for Good Relationship, c.1854-1906, Brown University L.

In 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry sailed into Uraga Harbor with a fleet of four steamships, demanding that Japan, a nation largely closed to foreign trade and contact, open to the U.S. In 1854, Perry returned to conclude negotiations. Artists on both sides recorded this meeting between two very different cultures. Look at the following images, and answer the questions.


  1. Scroll painting, Sumo, c.1854-1906, Brown University Library What does this painting show?
    A.

    A fight breaking out between local Japanese, Japanese officials, and American sailors.

    B.

    Japanese officials inviting American sailors to bathe in a local bathhouse.

    C.

    American soldiers and Japanese officials watching a sumo match.

    D.

    Japanese officials displaying Japanese prisoners to American sailors.


  2. Scroll painting, Telegraph, c.1854-1906, Brown University LibraryWhat does this painting show?
    A.

    A Japanese official exhibits a work of art to American sailors.

    B.

    An American sailor sets up a film projector while a Japanese official watches.

    C.

    A Japanese official invites an American sailor to make a move in a gambling game.

    D.

    An American sailor demonstrates a telegraph while a Japanese official watches.


  3. Print, Passing the Rubicon, 1855-56, Wilhelm Heine, Brown University LibraryWhat technological difference do these two images, taken from the same print, show?
    A.

    Differences in small-craft motor technology

    B.

    Differences in distance weapons technology

    C.

    Differences in textile weaving technology

    D.

    Differences in boat propulsion technology


  4. Scroll painting, Rice, c.1854-1906, Brown University LibraryWhat does this painting show?
    A.

    American sailors watch Japanese workers building a dike from sandbags.

    B.

    American sailors supervise Japanese workers loading barrels of water onto American ships (out of the picture).

    C.

    American sailors admire the scenery in the background while Japanese farmers bring in sheaves of grain.

    D.

    American sailors supervise sumo wrestlers loading bags of rice onto American ships (out of the picture).