The Japanese Second Army Battles at Chinchou

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

The Japanese Second Army Battles at Chinchou

by Nakamura Shūkō , 1894


IHL Cat. #306

About This Print

The Second Army and the Battle of Chinchou

Source: Impressions of the Front: Woodcuts of the Sino-Japanese War, Shunpei Okamoto, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1983, p. 14.
On September 26, 1894, the Japanese imperial headquarters had organized the Second Army.  Its objective was to conquer the Chinese dockyard and arsenal of Port Arthur and then to embark on a campaign into the Peking region after winter.  On October 24, while the First Army was crossing the Yalu River and entering China, the Second Army landed on on the Liaotung (Chinchou) Peninsula.  By November 3, the Second Army advanced toward Chinchou, the major stronghold before Port Arthur.  With a full-scale assault on November 6, the Second Army broke the stiff resistance at Chinchou, taking the fortress before noon. 

Source: Impressions of the Front: Woodcuts of the Sino-Japanese War, Shunpei Okamoto, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1983, p. 35.
Twenty-five-year-old Nanbu Kijiro, a second artillery lieutenant (better known as the inventor of the Nanbu rifle and machine gun), described what he saw as platoon commander of the Third Mountain Artillery Battalion during the battle of Chinchou: "The battleground smelled of blood.  deep craters remained where shells had flung earth into the sky.  Trees and rooftops were strewn all over.  The odors of blood and powder lingered.  Our fallen comrades had been laid out in front of grave makers made of available wood.  The area in front of these temporary graves was swept so clean it touched my heart.  I prayed there silently."

Private First-Class Kubota Chuzo, a twenty-one-year-old farmer, wrote in his war diary: "Today our company had lunch in the southern section of Chinchou.  Chinese corpses were piled everywhere.... Some enemy soldiers were found among the dead feigning death.  Our litter corps found them and slashed or stabbed them to death."

Treating the Enemy with Respect


This is one of a relatively small number of Sino-Japanese War prints that depict the Chinese as worthy adversaries.  The Chinese soldiers' facial features are not caricatured, as they are in so many war prints, and they wear a look of determination and resolve.   













Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #306
 Title or Description  The Japanese Second Army Battles at Chinchou (Dai ni gun Kinshujo daigekisen no zu)1 or Attack on Jiuliancheng in China (Seikoku Kyûrenjô kôgeki no zu 清國九連城攻撃之啚)2
 Artist  Nakamura Shūkō (active c. 1894-1904)
 Signature  Shūkō
 Seal  Shūkō
 Publication Date  October 1894 (Meiji 27)
 Publisher  Sekiguchi Masajirô
 Engraver  Umezawa Chōkoku (also listed by MFA, Boston as Umezawa Minokichi)
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition good - trimmed but top margin intact; panel joined; vertical folds where panels are joined; some soiling and wrinkling
 Genre  ukiyo-e - senso-e (Sino-Japanese War)
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper
 14 1/4 x 28 1/2 in. (36.2 x 72.4 cm)
 Literature
 Impressions of the Front: Woodcuts of the Sino-Japanese War, Shunpei Okamoto, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1983, p. 35. pl. 52; Japan Awakens: Woodblock Prints of the Meiji Period (1868-1912), Barry Till, Pomegranate Communications, Inc., 2008, p. 37.
 Collections This Print
 Philadelphia Museum of Art 1976-75-190; Museum of Fine Arts Boston RES.23.291-3 and Res.23.294-; Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery S1999.52a-c; Art Gallery of Greater Victoria 2004.026.055
1 Philadelphia Museum of Art title
2 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston title

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