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 - Intriguing image from the Satsuma Rebellion showing the rebel leader Saigo Takamori watching a dancer and musicians performing. Wearing a military uniform and plumed hat, he sits in a chair at left holding a glass goblet as a dancer hops on one foot, waving a fan. At right, a samurai behind the drummer seems agitate, his mouth open as he shouts. In the background, warriors battle Imperial troops. Great realistic detail in the figures and furnishings, with burnishing on the Saigo's black uniform and boots.
Artist - Chikanobu (1838 - 1912)
Image Size - 14 1/8" x 27 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Three separate panels. A few holes, losses at edges, repaired. Slight toning, soiling, and creasing, a few stains. Please see photos for details.