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Captain Asakawa and Trooper Private Kimura from the series Mirror of Army and Navy Heroes

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Captain Asakawa and Trooper Private Kimura from the series Mirror of Army and Navy Heroes

by Kobayashi Kiyochika, 1895


IHL Cat. #878

About This Print

This print is one of fifty issued as part of the series Mirror of Army and Navy Heroes designed by Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915) and published 1895-1896 by Inoue Kichijirō.  The series depicts war heroes of the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) as models of behavior and self-sacrifice.  "Kiyochika’s 'heroes' range from an admiral reading a newspaper to sailors helping a blinded comrade touch a cannon that has helped bring victory, and from an infantryman showing compassion to a Chinese youngster to officers and enlisted men cleaving heads and bayonetting the foe."1

In this print the loyal trooper Private Kimura
Gemmatsu, himself wounded, leans over his wounded commander, Captain Asakawa Toshiyasu, who grieves over his fallen horse.

The Story of Captain Asakawa and Trooper Kimura

The below extract from the 1897 book Heroic Japan: A History of the War Betwen China & Japan2, which relates the "Brave Deeds" (a term used in the preface) of the Japanese forces during the Sino-Japanese War, tells of the heroic actions of the two soldiers pictured in the print on their march march down China's Liaodong Peninsula towards Port Arthur, China's major naval installation, which the Japanese were to capture on November 22, 1894.3

click on image above to enlarge

1 website of MIT Visualizing Cultures http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/21f/21f.027/throwing_off_asia_01/kiyochika_mirror_b.html
2 Heroic Japan: A History of the War Betwen China & Japan, F. Warrington Eastlake and Yamada Yoshi-aki, Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1897.
3 Balancing the "brave deeds" of the Japanese Army are the record of atrocities committed by the Japanese military during the war, including the "Port Arthur massacre" in which a large number of civilians and prisoners were killed by the Japanese, supposedly in retaliation for the mutilation of Japanese captives by the Chinese military. 

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #878
 Title or Description  Captain Asakawa and Trooper Private Kimura Gemmatsu
(Asakawa Taii Nitō Kihei Kimura Genmatsu-shi 浅川大尉 二等騎兵木村源松氏 - as written in the upper right multi-color cartouche)
 Series  Mirror of Army and Navy Heroes (Rikukai gunjin kōmyō kagami 陸海軍人高名鑑 - as written in the upper right white cartouche.)
 Artist  Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915)
 Signature  Kiyochika
 Seal  Kiyo and Chika
 Publication Date  January 1895 - as shown in left margin
 Publisher  Publisher Inoue Kichijirō 井上吉次郎
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition good - left margin partially trimmed; remnants of backing along left margin; minor soiling and wrinkling
 Genre  ukiyo-e - senso-e (Sino-Japanese War)
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  vertical oban
 H x W Paper
 14 x 9 1/4 in. (35.6 x 23.5 cm)
 H x W Image
 13 x 8 3/4 in. (33 x 22.2 cm)
 Literature
 
 Collections This Print
 British Library shelfmark 16126.d.2(24)


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