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Pulling the Necks from the series Long Live Japan: One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Pulling the Necks

from the series Long Live Japan:

One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs

by Kobayashi Kiyochika, 1894

IHL Cat. #379

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).

Source: University of Vienna Ukiyo'e Caricature website http://kenkyuu.jpn.univie.ac.at/karikaturen/detail.asp?docid=894&lang=e&first=1

Image Description

The print shows five men, four Chinese typically dressed and with long pigtails and one Japanese Soldier wearing a western-style dark uniform. The latter has laid a rope around his neck and is now stretching the necks of three Chinese men by pulling away their heads in the sloop.

While these men are laying on the floor the fourth is kneeling beside them and yelling.


The print is part of a serial relating to the First Sino-Japanese War 1894-95, which occurred between Japan and China about Korean policies. It took not even one year for a Japanese triumph over the giant counterpart and changed the western public perception of Japan in an eminent way. 

Here only one Japanese Soldier is playing kubippiki with even three Chinese rivals. Kubippiki is a Japanese game: to challenge the strength; the combatants try to pull away each other by a sloop around their necks.
It is a propagandistic caricature placing emphasis on the (apparent) superiority of the Japanese – it takes one single Japanese Soldier to crane the necks of three weak enemies and give the other one a good scare.

The Illustration dates back in November 1894 when Japanese troops already had captured Talien (jap. Dairen, 7. November) and the taking of Port Arthur (21. November) was almost in sight.

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.

Print's Inscription - Japanese and English

首(くび)ツ引(ぴき) 骨皮道人
形(なり)が小造(こづく)りだから力(ちから)も無(な)からうと。猿 (さる)よりも劣(おと)つた / 浅墓(あさはか)な量見(りやうけん)でさ んざん人(ひと)を軽蔑(ばか)にして居(い)たが。/ 汝等(うぬら)ハ一 体(たい)杓子(しやくし)あるを知(しつ)て耳掻(みみか)きを知(し) らず。一寸(すん)/ 八分(ぶ)の観世音(くわうんぜおん)ハ一丈(ぜう) 餘(よ)の仁王(にわう)を門番(もんばん)使(つか)つて / 居(ゐ)る事 (こと)を知(し)らないのに。論(ろん)より証拠(せうこ)。自己(お れ)の 力量(りきりやう)/ の程(ほど)を見(ミ)せて遣(や)るからサ ァ首(くび)ツ引(ぴき)で来(き)て見(ミ)ろ。/ 汝等(うぬら)のやう な芋虫(いもむし)同様(どうやう)のコロコロ野郎(やらう)が。十疋(ぴ き)や / 二十疋(ぴき)一ツ固(かたま)りになつて来(き)からッて多寡 (たくわ)の / 知(し)れたものだ・・・ソラ来(こ)いサアどうだ・・・只 (たつ)た夫(それ)ッ/ ばかりの力(ちから)か。イヤハヤなさけねへ奴等 (やつら)だ。其様(そん)な / 逃腰(にげこし)でどうして自己(おれ)の 小指(こゆび)一本(ぽん)にも叶(かな)ふものか/・・・ウントコドッコイ しよ。もつと確乎(しつかり)来(こ)い来(こ)い/・・・ソーラ宣(いい) かとウンと一ツ力(ちから)を入(い)れると。五六/人(にん)の首(くび) が一度(ど)にミリミリズルズルズルと。生大(なまだい)/根(こ)でも引 (ひつ)こ抜(ぬく)やうに抜(ぬい)て仕舞(しまつ)たから。/傍(そば) に居(い)たちやんちやん坊主(ぼうず)めハ皆(みな)驚/いたの驚かないの でハない。アツと云(いひ)さま首の / 無(な)い身体(からだ)に取捕(と ツつか)まつて此(こ)りや胴(どう)だ。

Kubippiki  Koppi Dōjin

Nari ga kozukuri da kara chikara mo nai kara to saru yori mo ototta / asahaka na ryōken de sanzan hito o baka ni shite ita ga. / Unura wa ittai shakushi aru o shitte mimikaki o shirazu. Issun / hachibu no Kanzeon wa ichijō yo no Niō o monban ni tsukatte / iru koto o shiranai no da. Ron yori shōko. Ore no rikiryō / no hodo o misete yaru kara sā kubippiki de kite miro. / Unura no yō na imomushi dōyō no korokoro yarō ga jūppiki ya / nijuppiki hitotsu katamari ni natte kitakaratte taka no / shireta mono da…sora koi sā dō da…Tatta sore / bbakari no chikara ka. Iyahaya nasakenē yatsura da. Sonna / nigekoshi de dōshite ore no koyubi ippon ni mo kanau mono ka/ …untokodokkoi sho. Motto shikkari koi koi/… sōra ii ka to un to hitotsu chikara o ireru to. Go-roku nin no kubi ga ichido ni mirimiri zuruzuruzuru to nama dai/ko demo hikkonuku yō ni nuite shimatta kara soba ni ita Chanchan-bōzu me wa mina odoroita no odorokanai no de wa nai. Atto iisama kubi / no nai karada ni tottsukamatte korya dō da.

Pulling the necks Koppi Dōjin

You even outrange apes with your dullness by thinking we, the Japanese, are small and weak, by messing around with us. You only notice the big things (like dippers) but ignore the important tiny things (like sticks for cleaning the ears). 

You don´t know that Kannon with the shortness of 1,8 sun (3,03 cm) has Niōs as guards sizing more than one jō (3,03 m). I´ll give you demonstration rather than arguing. I´ll show you my strength, come on, let´s fight in neck pulling!

You cowards are worthless like crawlers. Even when you attack me in numbers of tens or twenty, it´s nothing for me…well, how do you like this? Is this all you have to offer…? Cowards, that´s all you are! You are so sneaky that even the strength of one of my fingers is enough. Heave ho! Come on, come on, and give it a try! Well, I put only a little more strength in it and immediately the heads of five, six men are getting stretched. Stretched like white radish, pulled out from the ground. There is no way that the nearby Chinese aren´t afraid…

And so they are clutching their headless bodies together and scream:”What´s going on?/There are only trunks anymore.”

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description  Pulling the necks
 Kubippiki 首ツ引
 Series  Long Live Japan: One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs
[also translated as Long Live Japan! One Hundred Selections, One Hundred Laughs]
 Nihon banzai: Hyakusen hyakushō 日本萬歳 百撰百笑  [日本万歳 百撰百笑]
 Artist  Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915)
 Signature  Kiyochika
 Seal  Kobayashi
 Publication Date  December 1894 (Meiji 27)
 Publisher  Matsuki Heikichi (松木平吉) proprietor of Daikokuya
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition fair - stain center and center right, trimmed to image, not backed
 Genre  ukiyo-e - senso-e (Sino-Japanese War); giga; fūshiga
 Format  vertical oban
 H x W Paper
 14 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (36.8 x 24.8 cm)
 H x W Image
 14 x 9 1/4 in. (35.6 x 23.5 cm)

 Collections This Print
 Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art S2003.8.1280; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 2000.208; Hagi Uragami Museum U01256; The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University Digital Archives Collection 201-1809
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