Well, the Kaiwo Maru II is off for Hawaii now, but you can find out about its predecessor’s visit to San Francisco exactly 150 years ago at our Asian Art Museum’s new thematic exhibit: Japan’s Early Ambassadors to San Francisco, 1860–1927.
“Timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the ship Kanrin Maru and the first Japanese embassy to the United States, this thematic exhibit focuses on some of the first Japanese diplomats and cultural emissaries in San Francisco, and how they responded to the experience of being in America. It highlights more than 40 artworks and other visual media associated with the first mission, with travel to the U.S., and with Japanese artists and cultural leaders active in San Francisco between 1880 and 1927.”
It’ll be in the Japanese Galleries ’til November 21, 2010.
Here’s a sample:
“Among the artworks are two of the Friendship Dolls sent to San Francisco as “goodwill ambassadors” from Japan in 1927. Nearly lifesize, these dolls make the ‘American Girl’ doll phenomenon look quite tame.”
See you there.