Yoshitoshi 芳年: Bloody sea battle
Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
Title: Bloody sea battle (Masakiyo Conquering Korea)
Masakiyo Conquering Korea. Masakiyo Sankan taiji no zu. Due to censorship laws that forbade depicting current events, this gruesome sea battle is seemingly illustrating the 16th c. invasion of Korea by Katô Kiyomasa (Masakiyo). This bloody rout of foreigners by sword-wielding Japanese is more truly depicting the enragement felt by Japanese of the British bombing Kagoshima harbor in 1862 as retaliation for the death of an English merchant. The British were the victors, so this scene is more like wish-fulfillment on the part of Yoshitoshi. A number of these “Korean” foreigners have large noses and wear pantaloons and are drawn with western-style shading on their garments. The sea itself seems enraged, with the waves rising like claws to claim the hapless interlopers.
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban triptych (36.5 x 74 cm)
Publisher: Maruya Jinpachi (Yamaguchi)
Literature: Keyes #103; Illustrated in Yoshitoshi: Masterpieces from the Ed Freis Collection, 2011, number 21 page 67.
Signature: Ikkeisai Yoshitoshi ga
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