Rare plan of Yokohama
By HASHIMOTO, Sadahide , 1865

増補再刻 御開港横浜之全図 Zōho saikoku Gokaikō Yokohama no zenzu (Revised panorama of the open port of Yokohama)

Asia Japan
  • Author: HASHIMOTO, Sadahide
  • Publication place: Edo
  • Publisher: 宝善堂丸屋徳造 Hōzendō Maruya Tokuzō
  • Publication date: 慶応2年(1865).
  • Physical description: Colour printed woodcut map, old folds.
  • Dimensions: 600 by 1520mm. (23.5 by 59.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 17502


A rare revised edition of Sadahide’s 1860 aerial plan of Yokohama port six years after it opened to foreign trade. Comprised of eight oversized papers, it is one of the largest composite prints ever issued in Japan.

During the late Edo period, Yokohama was transformed from a small fishing village to a leading centre of international trade. In 1854, Commodore Matthew C. Perry arrived just south of Yokohama with a fleet of American warships, demanding that Japan make several ports available for overseas commerce. Five years later, the Port of Yokohama was officially opened. Shortly after, in 1860, Utagawa Sadahide (1807-1878) published his first panorama of the area: Gokaikō Yokohama ōezu (Panorama of the open port of Yokohama).

Numerous new establishments contributed to Yokohama’s rapid growth in the years that followed its opening, many of which are shown on the present view from 1865. The first edition of the map (1860) displays the inner half of the open port drawn as a paddy field, surrounded on all sides by water: a moat to the front and canals at the side and back. In comparison, the field is replaced in this second edition (1865) with an elaborate foreign settlement of trade and commerce, extending across the entire port. More foreign steamships are shown in the harbour, from the Netherlands, United States, Great Britain, France, and Russia. In fact, the second edition can be immediately and uniquely distinguished from the first by an anonymous bridge to the right of the port connecting it to Kanagawa in the south. This appears to represent the temporary bridge that is thought to have been built in 1863 and collapsed around 1867.

Shrines and temples are highlighted to the right of the view, and Mount Fuji can be seen in the upper right-hand corner. The Japanese residences are mainly located along lower edge of the map. The Tōkaidō Road, which was the most important of the Five Routes in Japan at the time, connecting the important cities of Kyoto and Edo, can be seen running along the bottom of the map.
The port continued to grow rapidly throughout the Meiji and Taisho periods as a centre for raw silk export and technology import, and continues to be one of the major international trading ports of Japan today.

Utagawa Sadahide
Utagawa Sadahide, also known as Hashimoto or Go’untei Sadahide (1807- 1878), was one the most renowned ukiyo-e (woodblock print) artists of his time. He studied under Kunisada I and was especially known for his Yokohama landscape prints. During his career, he produced over eighty-five prints of Yokohama, of which twenty-nine were created in 1861, and forty-three in 1862. Some of his works were displayed in Europe at the Paris World Fair in 1867.

In addition to his woodblock prints, Sadahide also published wonderfully illustrated Yokohama travel guides. The first guide he made, “A Yokohama Souvenir”, was published in 1860, and two years later he published “Things seen and heard at the open port of Yokohama”. The latter remains an important source of information about foreign influence in Japan during the nineteenth century, as it shows the Western style of dress, appearance, and way of life adopted by the residents of Yokohama.

The first edition of the present map was published in 1860, with various issues thought to have been published in the following year. The second edition, of which the present map is an example, was published in 1865, and shows significant additions and changes to the previous edition (1860) and issues (1861).

Rare. We are only able to trace six institutional copies, held in National Diet Library, Yokohama City Central Library, University of British Columbia Library, Waseda University Library, Kanagawa Prefectural Museum and Yokohama Archives of History.