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Lt. General Yamaji Motoharu from the series Mirror of Army and Navy Heroes


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Lt. General Yamaji Motoharu

from the series Mirror of Army and Navy Heroes

by Kobayashi Kiyochika, 1895

IHL Cat. #879

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 Lt. General Yamaji Motoharu, commander of the First Division of the Second Army Corps, is shown relaxing
, likely after his victory at Port Arthur, while his troops celebrate.

Lt. General Yamaji Motoharu - the "One-eyed Dragon"

Lt. General Yamaji (1841-1897), who had lost one eye as a child, was a noted military tactician, who served in the Sino-Japanese War as the commander of the First Division of the Second Army Corps.  He commanded the troops that attacked and captured Port Arthur and then went on to commit atrocities in the wake of the victory, in what became known as the "Port Arthur massacre."  Called by his troops the "One-eyed Dragon,"  he was described as "the bravest of the brave, the warrior as modest and unassuming as he was daring, astern and resolute, the very incarnation of the Japanese knightly spirit..."2 

1 website of MIT Visualizing Cultures http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/21f/21f.027/throwing_off_asia_01/kiyochika_mirror_b.html
2 The New Far East (with Twelve Illustrations from Special Designs by Kubota Beisen, of Tokio), Arthur Diósy, Cassell and Company, Ltd., 5th Edition, 1904, p. 114.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description  Lt. General Yamaji Motoharu
(Rikugun Chūjō Yamaji Motoharu-kun 陸軍中将 山地元治君) - 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)
 Format  vertical oban
 H x W Paper
 14 x 9 1/4 in. (35.6 x 23.5 cm)
 H x W Image
 12 7/8 x 8 3/4 in. (32.7 x 22.2 cm)
 Collections This Print
 British Library shelfmark: 16126.d.2(16)