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The miniature train


Seventh panel of a silk-bound scroll by an anonymous Japanese artist of the Americans operating a miniature train for the Japanese. Commodore Perry presented the Japanese with this gift as another example of Western advances in science and technology. The Norris Works train was fully operational with 350 feet of 18-gauge track, engine, tender, and car. An American officer operates the train while a Japanese officer rides. The right half of the panel features American officers overseeing the operation of the train, a sailor carries a tool, and another explains the concept of steam power to two Japanese officials. In the background, two American officers watch the train, while another steals a drink inside the roofed shelter. The Americans appear in full Navy dress. Several Japanese wear an haori [short loose jacket] with mon [family crest] and a hakama [loose trousers]. The remaining two Japanese wear samurai traveling attire; an haori, leggings, zori [straw sandals] and two swords.
Part of a 12-panel scroll by an anonymous Japanese artist, origin unknown, but similar to other scrolls produced during this period, such as the Black Ship Scroll.

Access Conditions

No Copyright - United States
Restrictions on Use
Collection is open for research.


"The miniature train" Perry in Japan: a visual history. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.