Kiyochika: Sino-Japanese War Caricature

Kiyochika: Sino-Japanese War Caricature (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Kobayashi Kiyochika
Title: Sino-Japanese War Caricature
Date: 1895

Uncut oban sheet of two chuban prints. We have a seated Japanese general holding a western-style sword and map on his lap, looking calm and dignified (and very Western). These are caricatures concerning the Sino-Japanese War (1894-5). Top: “The ancient (wisemen) are speechless (kojin mo shita o maku)” : kojin meaning ancient people, shita meaning a tongue, shitaomaku meaning rolling a tongues, which is the expression used for when man being astouded or speechless with admiration. A Japanese officer sits on the chair with a map on his lap. Facing to him are five historical Chinese wise men, their long tongues rolled out: the front man with a blue cap is Kômei (Kongming), namely Shokatsuryô (Zhuge Liang 181-234), the chancellor of the state of Shu Han druing the Three Kingdom; behind him is a big man in blue coat: Kôshi (Confucius 552-479BC), a philosopher; the next to him with a bald head with white beard is Taikôbô, (Tai Kung Wang), indicating Lu Shank, the Duke of Qi during 11th Century BC; behind him with black beard and the round eyes is Goshishôa, (Wu Zixu, died 484BC) a general and politician, and the very back is Kan’u in red face (Guan Yu, died 220), a general. Bottom: “Crushed into pieces (kona mijin)” . Below is a Japanese warship easily dispatching two Chinese warships who haplessly tumble out of the way, broken and defeated. Kiyochika was merciless in his depictions of the Chinese--much crueler than his depictions of westerners, even the Russian enemy ten years later.

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban
Publisher: Fukuda Kazujirô and Gusoku-ya