Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University

DAC Collection Object Information

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Creek, Yokohama,

Albumen print with hand coloring

Inscribed, lower right: “530”

Accession number: 1983.12.113.48

Gift of Michael M. Senft, 1983

“The creek in question is a river, the Horigawa, which might be translated as ‘dug river’ or, basically, ‘moat.’ It was dug at the opening of Yokohama to trade to separate the foreign settlement (left side, in the photograph) from the rest of Japan. The foreign settlement faced what is now Tokyo Bay; on its left was a natural river, the Ookagawa; moats were dug inland paralleling the shore and on the right side (the Horigawa) to ensure that the block of land designated for foreigners was entirely surrounded by water.
“The photograph was taken from Maeda Bridge on the Horigawa, facing towards the next bridge, Yato Bridge, and the bay. On the left was the foreign settlement. What’s shown is now part of the area of downtown Yokohama known as Yamashita-cho. Despite fire, earthquake, and bombing, the streets in downtown Yokohama still run much as they did in the 1870s, and the small street going off at an angle with respect to the river is still there. It intersects the major street known as Honcho-dori, on which many of the foreign trading houses were located. On the right side of the river is Motomachi, the area to which the former residents of Yokohama were moved in order to open the foreign settlement. Motomachi developed into a commercial area provisioning the foreigners and is still an upscale shopping area.” (Information volunteered 2/2/2005 via email by Ruth S. McCreery, resident in Yokohama, and approved by her in email of 2/22/2005 for museum use in any form).

Work Type: photograph

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