When Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry and his seven black ships sailed into Edo Bay on that fateful day in
July 1853, he had a single mission in mind: to establish a treaty that
would open Japan—then under the Tokugawa shogunate and isolated from
most of the rest of the world for the previous 212
centuries—to foreign trade. He could hardly have anticipated the
effect his mission would have on Western painting. Among the many
exports would be the inexpensive, yet striking, woodblock prints known
as ukiyo-e, literally, "pictures of the floating world."
Southgate MT. Panorama of Eight Views of Kanazawa Under the Full Moon. JAMA. 1999;281(24):2267. doi:10.1001/jama.281.24.2267
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