Senso-e - Senso-e are prints depicting wars, most often the Sino-Japanese War of 1894 - 1895 and the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 - 1905. Primarily triptychs, these images filled the journalistic need for illustrations of current activities on the battle front, but also acted as propaganda, encouraging support for the wars and fostering patriotism. These prints emphasized the bravery and success of the army and navy, using dramatic designs and bold compositions, with customers eagerly purchasing the latest prints. Some famous Meiji era artists did senso-e, including Kiyochika, Chikanobu, and Gekko. By the time the Russo-Japanese War came around, woodblock prints had fallen out of favor due to competition with photography and lithography, so fewer designs exist from this time period as compared to the Sino-Japanese War.
Comments - Fascinating image from the Sino-Japanese War depicting the current state of China as viewed by Japan. Imperial Army leaders are gathered at right, watching as Chinese men bow and grovel before them. At left, an older man trips backwards over his chair while another fellow slumps dejectedly in a red plush chair trimmed with fringe. In the center, an officer displays an image of a ship to a Chinese man on his knees who gestures behind him. At top center, a ghostly image of a Chinese nobleman appears in a cloud of smoke, pointing a finger at his countrymen below. The first time we've come across this subject.
Artist - Kunitoshi (1847 - 1899)
Image Size - 13 7/8" x 28 1/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three attached panels, backed with paper. Vertical folds. A few creases at edges, a few small stains. Please see photos for details.
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