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"Red-Seal" Ship

Companion to Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1938-31-1

Artist/maker unknown, Japanese

Made in Japan, Asia

Edo Period (1615-1868)

Early 17th century

Ink, color, and gold on paper; mounted as one of a pair of six-fold screens

67 inches × 12 feet 4 1/2 inches (170.2 × 377.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Francis E. Green, 1953

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From 1604 until 1635, the Japanese government granted "red-seal" licenses to oceangoing merchant ships to trade with regions south of Japan, including Indochina, the Philippines, Macao, and Taiwan. On this screen, Japanese and Portuguese sailors (the earliest Europeans to come to Japan) make music, drink, wrestle, perform tricks, play go, and eat to entertain themselves aboard ship.