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Making Chinese Soldiers Shiver from the series Long Live Japan: One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Making Chinese Soldiers Shiver

from the series Long Live Japan:

One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs

by Kobayashi Kiyochika, 1895

A moaning monologue in the Chinese kyogen from the series Long Live Japan: One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs

IHL Cat. #533

About This Print

This print is one of fifty prints from the first part of the three part series One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs. (Hyakusen hyakushô) created by the artist Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915), the writer Nishimori Takeki (1861-1923), alias Koppi Dōjin, and the publisher Matsuki Heikichi (1870-1931).

In this print Chinese soldiers are shivering before a snowman with the head of a Japanese general.  The inscription explains that the generals of the Japanese army, Aritomo Yamagata 山縣有朋 and Ōyama Iwao 大山巌 both have the character "mountain" (yama 山) in their names and are therefore so immovable, impressive and insanely strong that the weak soldiers of the Qing dynasty tremble with fear.  There is some wordplay going in in the inscription having to do with the same Japanese characters making up the expressions "making someone cold" and "mocking someone."

About The Series One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs

This series One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs was issued in three parts and presented parodies of the enemy, the Chinese in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 and ten years later the Russians in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. The first part of the series titled Long Live Japan: One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs, consisting of fifty prints, was issued between September 1894 and August 1895.  The second part of the series titled Magic Lantern Society: One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs, consisting of twelve prints, was issued between November 1895 and December 1896.  Both of these parts parodied (often in a racist manner) the Chinese people, leadership and war effort. The third and last part of the series, consisting of eight-six prints, used the same title as the first part Long Live Japan: One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs.  Issued between April 1904 and April 1905, the prints parodied the Russian war effort. For more information about the series see the article One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs on this site.

Inscription - English Translation

Source: University of Vienna website http://ukiyoe.univie.ac.at/detail.asp?docid=934&lang=e&first=1

Soldiers of the Qing Dynasty are being mocked [by] Koppi Dōjin

The Chinese baldies are extremely weak people, even Japanese babies sing about them being scared. The baldies are doubtlessly cowards. One day, five or six of these cowards were able to just barely remove themselves from the war zone to a safe place and because of their fear and the cold they shivered and quivered.
Kō: “Japanese generals are called Yamagata or Ōyama etc., because they all carry the character for mountain, they don't move.”
Otsu: “Yes, but because they are also called Ōsako or Ōshima etc. they seem to be incredibly big and strong people.” etc.
While they exchange these common rumors, they are walking along a mountain path. Suddenly, one of them cries out in alarm while talking and fainted. When they hear his voice, the others also fall over with fright. Already lying on the ground, they cry out again in alarm and are excited.
After this has happened, the hardly courageous man carefully rubs his eyes and sees what the unbelievable reason was for their fright. As it says in the following, the courage of the men was destroyed because a butterfly stared at them like a Japanese general: “We were even mocked (iced) by the damn snow.”

Interpretation

Source: University of Vienna website http://ukiyoe.univie.ac.at/detail.asp?docid=934&lang=e&first=1

The title of this print series, “one hundred selections, one hundred laughs”, is a pun and means “one hundred battles, one hundred victories”. In this series of comic propagandistic images about the Sino-Japanese War, Kiyochika draws the Chinese enemies in a very degrading fashion.
This illustration was published in February of 1895, at a time when the Japanese army had already conquered the peninsula Liaodong and had also won Weihaiwei in an overwhelming victory.
According to the descriptions of the print, the generals of the Japanese army, Yamagata Aritomo and Ōyama Iwao, both carry the character “mountain” (yama) in their name and are thus impressive, yet they didn't move. It also states that Ōsako and also Ōshima etc. are incredibly strong. The weak soldiers of the Qing Dynasty, who are afraid of a snowman formed like these powerful generals and are quivering with fear asking for help, are regarded with contempt. Because the snow is cold, a pun is made with “to mock somebody”, which means “to ice somebody” in Japanese and is written with the same characters.

Japanese Inscription  

Source: University of Vienna website http://ukiyoe.univie.ac.at/detail.asp?docid=934&lang=e&first=1

Shinpei no hiyakasare
Koppi Dōjin
Shina no Chanchan-bōzu wa yoppodo yowai mono de/ nihon no akanbō de sae utatte iru kurai yue/ Chanchan-bōzu wa yoppodo yowamushi ni chigainai/ ga, sate sono yowamushi ga goroppiki, rei no tōri inochi kara/gara shōheisen o nigenobite, samui no to kowai no to no/ gappei de buruburu furue nagara, Kō”Nihon no taishō wa/ Yamagata da no Ōyama da no to minna yama no ji ga tsuku kara sore de/ biku to mo ugokanai no darō.” Otsu ”Sō sa sore ni mada Ōseko da no/ Ōshima da no to iu suteki mo nai ōkina tsuyoi hito ga iru/ sō da” nado to, shikiri ni uwasa o shitsutsu yamaji o tado/ru ori kara, sono naka no hitori ga kyatto ii-zama niwaka ni/ me o mawashita, suru to sono koe o kiite mata kyatto/ taoreru, sono ato kara matazoro kyatto iu sawagi ni, kore wa/ shitari to sukoshi kijō na otoko ga yokuyoku/ me o kosutte miru to ikasama me o mawashi/ta no mo dōri, samo Nihon no taishō demo dete kita/rashiku, ōkina yukidaruma ga nyū to nirande/ ita no de sono otoko mo kimo o tsubushi “Ē imaimashi/i yuki ni made hiyakasareta.”

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #533
 Title or Description  Various titles are given to this print including:
 Making Chinese Soldiers Shiver " (Shinbei no hyakasare) (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
 Shinpei no hiyakasare (University of Vienna ""Ukiyo’e caricatures 1842-1905" database.)
清兵の冷かされ
 Series  Long Live Japan: One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs
 (Nihon bansai: Hyakusen hyakushô 本萬歳 百撰百笑)
 Artist  Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915)
 Signature  Kiyochika
 Seal  Kiyo
 Publication Date  February 1895 (Meiji 28)
 Publisher  Matsuki Heikichi (松木平吉) proprietor of Daikokuya
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition good - some soiling; full size, untrimmed sheet
 Genre  ukiyo-e, senso-e (Sino-Japanese War), giga
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  vertical oban
 H x W Paper
 14 1/4 x 9 1/2 in. (36.2 x 24.1 cm)
 H x W Image
 13 7/8 x 9 1/4 in. (35.2 x 23.5 cm)
 Literature
 
 Collections This Print
 The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University  012-1060;  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 2000.209
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