Views of Ryukyu: Paintings and Prints in the Hamilton Library Collection

Seifman, Travis
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When an embassy from the Ryukyu Kingdom traveled up to Edo, it visited the shogun’s castle two or three times. Each time they went up to the castle, the ambassadors and their entourage of roughly 70 to 170 members of the Ryukyuan scholar-aristocracy paraded through the streets of Edo, wearing impressive court costume, carrying colorful banners, and playing Ryukyuan music. The spectacle was recorded in scroll paintings like the two we have on display in the exhibit, of which roughly 100 are extant today. Over the course of the 17th-early 19th centuries, numerous woodblock printed books about Ryukyu were published as well, roughly 90 titles in all, each of which might have been published in initial print runs of as many as one or two thousand copies.
Presentation on Ryukyuan scrolls commemorating diplomatic processions.
Ryukyu, paintings, prints, Sakamaki-Hawley Collection, Procession of Ryukyuans Enroute to Edo Castle, Procession of the Ryukyu Kingdom’s Prince Kin to the Edo Castle, Ming, Procession of an Embassy from the Ryukyu Kingdom, woodblock
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