Japanese American National Museum
Collections & Research

Picture Bride

Sugimoto, Henry [ bio ]

Picture Bride
Enlarge Image (87.8KB)

L: 64 in, W: 51.5 in, D: 1 in

New York, N.Y., c. 1965


Gift of Madeleine Sugimoto and Naomi Tagawa, Japanese American National Museum


Stretched and framed

Image depicts Japanese practice of picture brides, immigration of women from Japan to meet new husbands in United States. At midground left, an older mustached man in a brown suit and black hat, with his back to the viewer, holds up a black and white picture of the woman who bows before him. The woman wears a blue kimono and yellow, red obi, geta and a white bow in her hair. A suitcase and bag sit at her tabi covered feet. A grey suited man sticks his tongue out as he stands beside them holding a sign, "Charlie's Picture Bride." In the foreground another western dressed older man in suit and hat walks ahead of a younger woman in a kimono carrying her own luggage as a man leads them. The cobblestone street recedes back to the left past a large multi-arched building marked "S.F. Ferry" into numerous buildings in the distance left. A tiny horse drawn carriage approaches on it. The street also slopes right, down to the wharf where many picture brides disembarking a docked ship, Tenyo Maru, wave photos at the men waiting below who wave their own photos. Other couples and workers walk up the street toward the viewer. In the background two ships are visible in large body of water under two cloud-like images floating above. In upper left corner, woman with hand to her head walks along path through rice fields away from Mt. Fuji. In upper right corner, man in Japanese clothing waves goodbye to well-wishers as he leaves village with torii.

Signed in medium, bottom left corner: H. Sugimoto Written on back, top center: Japanese American Immigration History in America Series/Picture Bride

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