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 under one arm as he urges his men forward, directing them ahead with his blade as he mounts a snowy hill. Japanese troops follow behind him past fallen Chinese soldiers half-buried in the snow. The battle rages on the water beyond, with ships exchanging fire and red flames billowing into a sky filled with menacing-looking, jagged clouds. A great dramatic depiction of this celebrated incident, detailed with fine bokashi shading.
Artist - Kiyochika (1847 - 1915)
Image Size - 14" x 27 5/8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Slight paper remnants on reverse at sides from previous mounting. Light allover rippling, slight curling and wrinkling at top of center panel. Please see photos for details.