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 - Fantastic triptych depicting one of the most popular heroes of the Sino-Japanese War, Captain Higuchi, Battalion Commander of the Sixth Division. During a major battle at the Hundred Foot Cliff near Weihaiwei, the brave officer rescued a Chinese child abandoned on the battlefield. He supposedly carried the child in his left arm as he led his troops on to victory, brandishing his sword with his right arm. After the battle, he returned the child to his grateful parents. Here Captain Higuchi clasps the child to his shoulder as he urges his men forward, directing them ahead with his blade as he mounts a snowy hill, Japanese troops follow behind him as orange shots streak across the wintry gray sky. Terrific detail in the carefully rendered military uniforms and weapons, with hand-applied gofun (white pigmen)t to simulate falling snow. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has this image in its collection. A great image of this celebrated incident.
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 14" x 27 3/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Horizontal and vertical folds. Small hole, repaired. Creasing, slight toning. Please see photos for details.
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