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Illustration of the the Army and Navy Protecting the Legations and Japanese Residents

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Illustration of the the Army and Navy Protecting the Legations and Japanese Residents

by unknown artist, c. 1900 1894


IHL Cat. #309

About This Print

 

Originally I described this print as depicting events during the 1900 Boxer Rebellion.  It was an educated, but incorrect, guess brought about by a lack of a publication date on this print.  Recently, another copy of this print appeared with its left margin intact containing the name of the publisher and its date of issue, July 1894. (Click on image to the left for detail of left margin.)

It now becomes clear that this print depicts the landing of Japanese troops in Incheon on June 10, 1894, prior to the official outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War on July 25th.  The Japanese troops, likely parts of the Hiroshima 5th Division, were dispatched, ostensibly to protect the Japanese legation, but, in reality, as part of a troop buildup in Korea by both Japan and China.

By late July (July 23 or July 25, depending upon accounts) the First Sino-Japanese War had started.  Over fifty thousand military deaths and tens of thousands of civilian deaths later, the Japanese could declare victory in April 1895. 

Released in July 1894, this unsigned/unsealed print was likely one of the first of the thousands of senso-e (Japanese war prints) to “document” the Sino-Japanese War and to heroically depict the actions of the Japanese forces, to the Japanese public and Western nations.

For more senso-e (war prints) see the article Prints (Senso-e) of the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese Wars.


Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #309
 Title or Description  Illustration of the the Army and Navy Protecting the Legations and Japanese Residents (Kairikuhei kôshikan no Nihon kyoryûmin hogo no zu)
「海 陸兵 公使館及ビ日本居留民保護之図」
 Artist  Unknown
 Signature  unsigned
 Seal  not sealed
 Publication Date  July 1894
 Publisher  Tsusumi Kichibei 兵衛 [Marks: pub. ref. 194] - as printed on left margin of another impression of this print.  (For detail of the this print's absent left margin click on image above.)
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  fair - three sheets joined; heavy wrinkling
 Genre  ukiyo-esenso-e
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper 
 14 1/8 x  28 in. (35.9 x 71.1 cm)
 Literature 
 
 Collections This Print
 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 2000.20a-c; Tokyo Keizai University Library Collection; Noda Public Library

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