Learning the history of one’s nation can take more than one perspective, especially if it had been in contact with other nations. There is the view from the inside, which is how the people of the nation tell their own history. And there is the view from the outside, how other people describe that nation and tell that nation’s story from their perspective. And such is the case for America. In the Osanaetoki Bankokubanashi, we see illustrations of how the Japanese viewed the United States’ history and told their story by incorporating some elements from their own culture.
"Here is George Washington (with bow and arrow) pictured alongside the Goddess of America," writes historian of Japan Nick Kapur in a Twitter thread featuring selections from the book. History does record Washington having practiced archery in his youth, among other popular sports of the day, and the image of the Goddess of America does look like a faintly Japanese version of Columbia, the historical female personification of the United States.
(Image credit: Nick Kapur/Twitter)