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Illustration of Negotiations Between Japan and Russia

Viewing the Captured Chinese Warship Chinen at Yokosuka Naval Port

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Illustration of Negotiations Between Japan and Russia

by ‎Ōkura Kōtō, 1904

Sino-Japanese War: Japanese Military Might Captures Pyongyang

IHL Cat. #82

About This Print


This print was published on February 10, 1904 the day after Japan's attack on the Russian fleet at Port Arthur and the day of the Imperial Proclamation declaring war on Russia. It illustrates one of a number of negotiating sessions, largely initiated by Japan, over the status of Manchuria and Korea prior to the start of the war.

Count Witte, who was to be the chief negotiator for Russia during the treaty conference at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at the close of the war (won by Japan), wrote:

Not long after my return to Russia, Kurino, the Japanese minister to Russia, came to see me.  In July 1903, while I was still minister of finance, he had presented a proposal to me and Count Lanbsdorff that would have made a peaceful settlement of our differences possible.  I favored acceptance, but to no avail, because it was sent to Viceroy Alekseev and became the subject of endless and fruitless discussion.1

Of course, the scene depicted in this print may be a total or partial fiction, but the bearded Russian negotiator may be Count Witte or Baron Rosen and the mustachioed Japanese figure might well be Jutaro Komura, foreign minister, or Shin'ichiro Kurino, minister to Russia.

click on map to enlarge

1 Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World, 1852-1912, Donald Keene, Columbia University Press, 2002, p. 596.

A reworked print by the artist of the same scene.
Album of the Japanese-Russian War, Vol. 1: Picture of the Negotiations Between Japan and Russia
Japanese, Meiji era, 1904 (Meiji 37)
Artist: ‎Ōkura Kōtō, Japanese, active 1894
Publisher: Hasegawa Sonokichi, Japanese
Event of February 6, 1904
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection, 2000
Accession number: 2000.341.1 

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #82
 Title or Description
Illustration of Negotiations Between Japan and Russia
(Nichiro kaiken danpan zu
日露会見談判図)
 Artist  ‎Ōkura Kōtō (active c. 1894)
 Signature
Kōtō 耕涛
 Seal  耕涛尾形 Ogata ‎Kōtō (see above)
 Publication Date  1904 (Meiji 37), February 10
 Publisher
Kimura Toyokichi 木村豊吉 [Marks pub. ref. 238; seal not shown]
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition good - trimmed into image, panels joined, not backed, pencil notation "and Russian Representative" top margin of center sheet
 Genre  ukiyo-e - senso-e (Russo-Japanese War); Meiji era
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper
 14 x  27 1/2 in. (35.2 x 70.8 cm)
 Literature

 Collections This Print
 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 2000.82a-c

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