Writing Box (Suzuribako) with Europeans (lid)

1800s
Location: not on view
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Description

For many Japanese patrons, objects decorated with images of foreigners offered the rare opportunity to see westerners. The two men on the left were likely Portuguese traders, identifiable by their balloon-shaped pants. The man on the right is a Jesuit priest. Portuguese traders arrived in Japan in 1543 and soon after Christian missionaries began to create outposts there. By the early 17th century, Christianity was outlawed and the Portuguese were forced out of Japan. This object was created during the short period when the Portuguese were allowed in Japan.
Writing Box (Suzuribako) with Europeans (lid)

Writing Box (Suzuribako) with Europeans (lid)

1800s

Japan, Edo period (1615–1868)

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