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 - Dramatic portrait of Navy Commander Hirose Takeo during the Russo-Japanese War. As a torpedo officer, Hirose volunteered to take charge of the Fukui maru, an older cargo ship, during the attempt to blockade the entrance to Port Arthur on March 26, 1904. Hit by Russian artillery, the ship exploded and Hirose received fatal wounds, going down with the ship. Because of his heroism and self-sacrifice, he was posthumously promoted to commander, and a Shinto shrine was dedicated to him. Here, he stands steadfastly on what remains of the deck amidst splintered wood and a shattered funnel. Explosions rock the ship and the sea all around him, sending up white waves at right. A bold portrait of this national hero, beautifully detailed.
Artist - Kiyochika (1847 - 1915)
Image Size - 14" x 27 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Slight toning, light stain at edge. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.