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Japan's Early Ambassadors to San Francisco, 1860–1927 (iTunes U)

iTunes U
A series of talks (approx. 45 minutes per talk)
Resource Type: 

Timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the ship Kanrin Maru and the first Japanese embassy to the United States, this thematic exhibit focuses on some of the first Japanese diplomats and cultural emissaries in San Francisco, and how they responded to the experience of being in America. It highlights more than 40 artworks and other visual media associated with the first mission, with travel to the U.S., and with Japanese artists and cultural leaders active in San Francisco between 1880 and 1927. The thematic exhibit addresses the personal and artistic challenges faced by these artists, which included discriminatory practices and attitudes, and an anti-Japanese movement tied directly to the 1924 Exclusion Act prohibiting further immigration from Japan. The exhibit culminates with a presentation of two of the Friendship Dolls sent to San Francisco as "goodwill ambassadors" from Japan in 1927, part of an orchestrated response to this law. Watch a selection of talks by renowned scholars related to this exhibition.

Press the "View in iTunes U" button above to view the talks in this series, including:

Introductory Remarks
Forrest McGill, Asian Art Museum

Overview of Japanese Ambassadors
Melissa Rinne, Asian Art Museum

Before the 1860 Embassy: Japanese Castaway Sailors in San Francisco, 1850–1858
Robert Oaks, Independent Scholar

The Untold History of the 1860 First Embassy: Oguri Tadamasa & the Modernization of Japan 
Reverend Murakami Taiken, Abbot, Tozenji Temple

Angels and Demons: Two Paintings by Toshio Aoki, a Japanese Artist in California
Chelsea Foxwell, University of Chicago

Henry Kiyama's The Four Immigrants Manga
Frederik L. Schodt, Independent Scholar and Translator

Miss Yokohama: San Francisco's Missing Friendship Doll
Alan Scott Pate, Independent Scholar

Hirata Goyo and the Twentieth Century Japanese Doll Art Movement
Tanaka Keiko, Assistant Curator, The University Art Museum, Tokyo University

Japan's Ambassadors Symposium Conclusions
Melissa Rinne, Asian Art Museum

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