The Mountain by Hiroshi Yoshida 1925

Tacoma’s sense of place is incontestable and its towering namesake has been the inspiration for legends, paintings, photographs and stories. In 1925, the illustrious Japanese artist Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950) made this woodblock print following a visit to Tacoma. Like many other visitors and immigrants from Japan, he noted the visual and spiritual similarity to Mt. Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan.

Mt Tacoma Yoshita

Annotations/Markings: Signed “よし田” (Yoshida) with flower-shaped seal in lower left corner. Printed at left margin “自摺 大正拾四年作” (self-printed in 1925). Inscribed in lower margin: “Mt. Rainier To my friend Col. H E. Robison 博 Tokio June 8th 1946 Hiroshi Yoshida.”

Mt Fuji Yoshida
Mt. Fuji

Prints from the Digital Public Library of America


Written by

This site is about the way history, in this case of a city and it's surrounds, is remembered or recorded in stories and small bits of memory. It's also about the way images and stories go together, how they inform and enrich each other and how we as thinking people fill in the content between a narrative and a visual document. So here is my city in time past, the way it looked and the people and events that create its character. For more than 20 years I have taught a 5 credit course on the History of Tacoma at the University of Washington Tacoma. With an average of 30 or 40 students a year, each doing a research paper as their primary focus for the course, I have benefited from many paths of inquiry and many researched and assembled stories. Here are some of them in the retelling along with the treasures of photographs and images in the collections of the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma Public Library, University of Washington Digital Archives, Washington State Archives at the Office of the Secretary of State, Library of Congress, Washington State University, Alaska State Library, and many other archives, libraries and private collections.

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