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 - Interesting scene from the time of the Sino-Japanese War of Japanese sailors on board a ship, one of the men holding a falcon with a rope around its leg. The other men lean forward, examining the bird closely with much interest. An inset at upper left shows the Emperor Jimmu, the legendary first emperor of Japan, standing atop a cliff. Supposedly born in southern Kyushu, he decided to move eastward to conquer the entire country. With the assistance of a Yata crow as a guide, he reached Yamato and was victorious in battle, accepting the throne of Japan. Instead of a crow, Kogyo depicts a falcon or eagle atop the emperor's staff with rays of yellow and white light radiating from it. A handsome and unusual war propaganda design by Kogyo, who is best known for his Noh theater prints. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has this image in its collection.
Artist - Tsukioka Kogyo (1869 - 1927)
Image Size - 13 1/4" x 28 1/4" + top margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three attached panels, backed with paper. Vertical folds, slight soiling, a few spots. Please see photos for details.