A Banquet in a Foreign Merchant's House at Yokohama
Utagawa Sadahide, Japanese, c. 1807 - 1873. Published by Daikokuya Heikichi, Shōjudō. Engraved by Yokokawa Takejirō.
Visitors from countries that did not have treaties with Japan were permitted entry with the sponsorship of a member of a treaty nation. Westerners were frequently accompanied by people from China and India, examples of whom are shown here waiting on an Englishman. Chinese men served as both domestic servants and, more significantly, as mercantile assistants who could translate written Japanese texts. Indian men, easily identified by their turbans and dark complexions, functioned primarily as domestic servants, particularly for the British.