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Inscription

by unknown hand, upper center in graphite: 33; lower right in graphite: 91.4414; lower right in graphite: 19B 09; on verso, by unknown hand, upper center in graphite: 34; center in typeset print on paper label: NORIMONO, OR SEDAN CHAIR. / This is a superior sort of Kango (or Kago) Both sorts rise through such a variety of degrees of quality, that a Kango is / scarce to be distinguished from an inferior Norimono. The pole is the only difference - that of the former being solid, / and of the latter being made of four boards neatly jointed together, arched, and therefore lighter than it appears. / The rank is shown by the length and size of the Norimono's pole, and as people are apt to get the poles of their / Norimono made larger than their station allows, they are liable to be compelled by the magistrate to reduce them. / Women are, however, not affected by this rule, and may use larger poles than their own or their husband's station / permits. / The Norimono is like a little room just large enough to sit in comfortably, and is fitten up with little shelves and / other conveniences; it is very neatly made of split bamboos; is provided with sliding doors and also small windows; / and is a luxurious mode of travelling. The bearers of the Norimonos or Daimio's are selected for their symmetry of / shape and muscular development, they are also chosen of uniform height, and are trained with as much care as are the / favorite thoro'breds of a european Sovereign's State Carriage.

Provenance

Michael and Jane Wilson, Wilson Centre for Photography, London, acquired 1991; gift to NGA, 2012.