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Illustration of Negotiations Between Japan and Russia

Red Shadow 82-5

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Illustration of Negotiations Between Japan and Russia

by ‎Ōkura Kōtō, 1904

kusaka kenji

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 

Later Printing with addition of English title:
Negotiations between the Japanese
and Russian representative.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description
Illustration of Negotiations Between Japan and Russia
(Nichiro kaiken danpan zu
 Artist  ‎Ōkura Kōtō (1873-1910)
Kōtō 耕涛
 Seal  尾形耕涛 Ogata ‎Kōtō (see above)
 Publication Date 1904 (Meiji 37), February 10
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-esenso-e (Russo-Japanese War)
 Format vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper
 14 x  27 1/2 in. (35.2 x 70.8 cm)

 Collections This Print
 Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art S2003.8.1418a-c; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 2000.82a-c; Princeton University Art Museum 2008-127 a-c; Hakodate City Central Library Digital Archives 1114235060-0001, 0002, 0003