The Iwakura Mission to America and Europe by Yamaguchi Hoshun (1893-1971) is one of eighty paintings housed at the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery. Located in the outer precinct of Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, the gallery commemorates the virtues of the Meiji Emperor (1852-1912) and Empress Shōken (1849-1914). The works are split evenly between Japanese and Western styles and depict key moments in the emperor’s life in chronological order. Built in 1926, the gallery is one of Japan’s oldest museums and is classified as an “Important Cultural Property” by the Japanese government. The painting depicts the Iwakura Mission’s departure from Yokohama Port on the SS America in 1871. Led by the prominent statesman Tomomi Iwakura (1825-1883), the Iwakura Mission was dispatched to study the political, military, economic, and educational institutions of the United States and Europe, renegotiate unequal treaties with Western powers, and establish the fledgling Meiji government on the world stage.