Samurai in New York

The First Japanese Delegation, 1860

June 25 - November 7, 2011

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Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the First Japanese Delegation to New York City.

Samurai in New York invites visitors to return to the New York of 150 years ago and to share the city’s excitement over the visit of a delegation of more than 70 samurai from Japan—the first Japanese to leave the closed island nation in over 200 years. The brash young city seized the opportunity to promote itself as the “Edo (modern day Tokyo) of the West” with a two-week whirlwind of parades and balls and moment-to-moment newspaper coverage of the delegation’s visit. Extremely rare 19th-century photographs and newspaper engravings document the festivities, and a unique group of objects, lent by Japanese institutions, both record and recall the experience from the Japanese viewpoint. Other photographs, works of art, decorative and costume items reveal the cross-cultural influences that the visit inspired.

[Members of the embassy], 1860. Carte-de-visite, Studio of C.D. Fredricks & Co., New York. Collection of Tom Burnett


The exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the J.C.C. Fund of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Canon U.S.A. Inc., Daiwa Capital Markets America Inc., NTT DOCOMO USA, Inc.


Additional support is provided by:

Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.
Japan-United States Friendship Commission
ITOCHU International Inc.
KDDI America, Inc.
Marubeni America Corporation
Mitsubishi International Corporation
Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.
Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd.Nomura Holding America Inc.
Thierry Porté
Sumitomo Corporation of America Foundation
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Sojitz Corporation of America
Sony Electronics, Inc.
Toshiba America, Inc.

Funding is also provided by: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Chartis International Insurance, IBM, Gary Moriwaki, Rockefeller & Co. Inc., U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation, HITACHI ZOSEN U.S.A. LTD., Jiro and Satoru Murase, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Susan J. Onuma, Accenture, Makioka Foundation, Ambassador Shinichi Nishimiya, and Deputy Consul General, Yasuhisa Kawamura

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