Kiyochika: Harvesting Topknots
Artist: Kobayashi Kiyochika
Title: Harvesting Topknots
Series: Long Live Japan: One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs (Nihon banzai Hyakusen hyakushô)
Cultivation of New Japan (Shin-Nihon no kaitaku). Two Japanese soldiers gleefully harvest the topknots of rows of Chinese men, which stick up straight and are cut down with scythes and bundled into harvested sheaves. In the background we see a sketched representation of heads with shorn topknots. The text was written by Honekawa Doojin (”Bone and Skin Recluse”). The outline of the text may be read as follows. “Japan occupied China, which was more wild for long time. Therefore the cultivators (Japanese occupation army) did not know where to start. They thought they should start to change their hair style first of all since they looked strange, hair sticking up. They cropped in bundles. ‘People used to laugh at you, calling chan chan men and treating you as barbarians, but now you have a new hair cut and look a citizen of Empire of Japan. You can go anywhere in the world without feeling ashamed. Among 400 million people you are lucky ones.” Chan chan men were pleased and said “ This is a real butanuki? of the cultivated land.” (buta=pig, nuki=pulling out)”
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Publisher: Matsuki Heikichi
Literature: See Henry Smith’s book, pages 94-95.