Chinese Man from Nanking
Utagawa Yoshitomi, Japanese, active c. 1848-80. Published by Jōshūya Jūzō, Kinjūdō. Engraved by Hori Yasu(?).
A significant number of Chinese men lived in Japan after the country opened its borders to international trade in 1859. They often worked as servants for Western households, but many, who were already accustomed to working with American and European traders in their home country, performed the more significant duties of mercantile assistants. These men were of particular help in deciphering documents because, although the Chinese and Japanese spoken languages bear no resemblance, the written languages share common ideograms.