69 results in English
Portrait of Ono Ranzan
Tani Bunchō (1763−1840) was a representative painter of the late Edo period who is said to have perfected Edo Nanga, a school of Japanese painting that flourished in this period. The subject of the painting, Ono Ranzan (1729−1810), was a leading specialist in the traditional pharmacognosy (study of medicines derived from natural sources) of the day. Ranzan asked Bunchō to paint the portrait just a year before his death. Bunchō first made a sketch of Ranzan’s right side, which Ranzan did not like, insisting that the bump ...
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Chronicle of Japan, Volumes 1 and 2
Nihon shoki (Chronicle of Japan) is the first official Japanese history book, edited by Imperial Prince Toneri and others and completed in the fourth year of the Yōrō era (720). The 30 volumes cover the period from the mythological age to the time of the Empress Jitō (end of the seventh century). The first and second volumes, which deal with the mythological age, have been highly regarded in Japan since ancient times. The oldest existing manuscript of Nihon shoki dates from the Heian period (794−1185). The first published edition ...
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The Diary of Mansai
Mansai (1378−1435) was an abbot of the Daigo-ji Temple in the early Muromachi period (14th−15th centuries). Born into an aristocratic family, Mansai was adopted by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu and ordained into the priesthood. He served three shoguns, not only as a priest but also as a political adviser and close associate. Mansai witnessed many important events in politics, foreign relations, literature, and society and was privy to the top secrets of the nation. Mansai jugō nikki (The diary of Mansai) is thus an important historical source. The National ...
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Japan
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Japan is Number 73 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Written by John Harington Gubbins (1852−1929), a former British Foreign Office official and secretary of the British Legation in ...
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Actors Backstage Sugoroku
Actors Backstage Sugoroku is an e-sugoroku (picture board game) that depicts the backstage area of a Kabuki theater (playhouse). Published in 1863, towards the end of the Edo period, it contains pictures by Utagawa Kunisada II (also seen as Utagawa Toyokuni IV, 1823−80). This is a type of sugoroku called tobi-sugoroku (flying sugoroku), in which the squares are not lined up in order and the player moves around the board by jumping from square to square, depending on the roll of the die. From the furi-hajime (start) at the ...
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Hatamoto (Senior Samurai of the Shogun) Corps Formation Rules
Presented here is an emaki (horizontal picture scroll) that depicts a battle formation procession setting off for the battlefield. It is 13 meters long. At first sight, it resembles the Kan’ei Gyōkoki (Record of an imperial visit in the Kan’ei period), in which pictures and letters are printed in type. However, the characters and horses were not printed in type, but were affixed using stamps. The actual number of stamps used is surprisingly small. The 54 mounted soldiers in the scroll were created from just five stamps, but ...
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Map of Ezo
Fearing the influx of Christianity and foreign forces, in the Edo period (1603–1867) Japan prohibited foreign travel by Japanese people and trade and traffic with other countries, apart from Korea, China, and Holland. In 1828, Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold, a German who had come to Japan to work as a doctor at the Dutch trading post, tried to take some prohibited items, including maps of Japan, back to Holland when he completed his posting. Siebold was deported and barred from returning to Japan, while Takahashi Kageyasu (1785−1829 ...
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The Moon-Mad Monk, or Crazy Gazing at the Moon
Shown here is an illustrated anthology, in color, published in 1789 by Tsutaya Jūzaburō (1750−1797), a publisher of the Edo period (1600−1868). It contains 72 kyōka (humorous and satirical Japanese poems of 31 syllables) written about the moon and five pictures painted by the ukiyo-e artist Kitagawa Utamaro (circa 1753–1806). The title Kyōgetsubō (The moon-mad monk, or crazy gazing at the moon) means a man driven mad by the moon, but it is said to be a reference to the poet Gyōgetsubō (Reizei Tamemori 1265−1328), who ...
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Design Record of the Ryōgoku Bridge after Its Reconstruction and Repair
Ryōgoku Bridge over the Sumida River in Edo (present-day Tokyo) was a lively place in the Edo period (1600−1868). The scene displays fireworks and other entertainments in the neighborhood of the bridge. First built in the middle of the 17th century as a wooden bridge, it was renovated and repaired several times before it was rebuilt using modern construction methods in 1904. This document is a pictorial record of the reconstruction of the bridge in 1839. The document is concertina-folded and each section of the bridge is depicted twice ...
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History of the Rakugo Revival
This is a scrapbook in which the famous novelist Shikitei Sanba (1776−1822) has stuck the handouts from eight otoshibanashi or rakugo (literally, fallen words) performances held between 1808 and 1817, late in the Edo period (1600−1868). On the blank pages and in the spaces left by the pasted handouts Shikitei has written commentaries about the performances and information about the revival of rakugo. Rakugo is a traditional Japanese art form in which a single performer, dressed in traditional Japanese clothes, sits on his knees seiza-style and amuses the ...
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Pictures of Mount Fuji
Presented here is a picture album published in 1846, based on sketches drawn by the Edo period painter Koizumi Danzan (also seen as Koizumi Ayaru, circa 1766−1854) after he reached the top of Mount Fuji in 1795. It consists of inscriptions and an introduction by several famous scholars and poets with a postscript by Koizumi; 21 pictures by Koizumi (however, in this copy, the seventh, eighth, and ninth pictures are also inserted as the first three pictures, so three are missing); the postscript and colophon; and a distant view ...
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Official Letter of Rapprochement Written by the United States of America
On July 8, 1853, at a time when Japan still maintained its Sakoku (closed country) policy, the East India Squadron of the United States Navy, commanded by Commodore Matthew C. Perry (1794–1858), dropped anchor in the Uraga Strait. Perry conveyed to the Japanese authorities an official letter from U.S. president Millard Fillmore proposing friendship and the establishment of commercial relations between Japan and the United States. Senior Councilor Abe Masahiro (1819−57) decided to accept the letter and promised to give an answer within a year. This was ...
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Draft of the "Petition for the Establishment of a Popularly Elected Assembly" (Three Versions)
In January 1874, Japan’s first political party, Aikoku Kōtō (Public Party of Patriots), was established by Itagaki Taisuke, Gotō Shōjirō, Soejima Taneoi, and Etō Shinpei (also seen as Eto Shimpei‏), a year after they had gone into opposition following the political upheaval of 1873, when the governing alliance of senior officials split over a proposed military expedition against Korea. Gotō and Itagaki were among the leaders of the losing faction, most of whom had favored the expedition. They were also joined by Furusawa Shigeru, who had returned from studying ...
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Draft of the "Public Party of Patriots Pledge"
In January 1874, the first political party in Japan, Aikoku Kōtō (Public Party of Patriots), was established by Itagaki Taisuke, Gotō Shōjirō, Soejima Taneoi, and Etō Shinpei (also seen as Eto Shimpei‏), a year after they had gone into opposition following the political upheaval in 1873, when the governing alliance of senior officials split over a proposed military expedition against Korea. Gotō and Itagaki were among the leaders of the losing faction, most of whom had favored the expedition. They were also joined by Furusawa Shigeru, who had returned from ...
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Draft of the "Public Party of Patriots Appended Pledge"
In January 1874, the first political party in Japan, Aikoku Kōtō (Public Party of Patriots), was established by Itagaki Taisuke, Gotō Shōjirō, Soejima Taneoi, and Etō Shinpei (also seen as Eto Shimpei‏), a year after they had gone into opposition following the political upheaval in 1873, when the governing alliance of senior officials split over a proposed military expedition against Korea. Gotō and Itagaki were among the leaders of the losing faction, most of whom had favored the expedition. They were also joined by Furusawa Shigeru, who had returned from ...
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Blueprint for Governmental Reform
Iwakura Tomomi and Ōkubo Toshimichi were at the core of the Japanese government that was formed after the political upheaval of 1873, when the governing alliance of senior officials split over a proposed military expedition against Korea. Gotō Shōjirō, Itagaki Taisuke, and Kido Takayoshi were among the leaders of the losing faction, most of whom had favored the expedition. Relations between Ōkubo and Itagaki and Kido, who were no longer in government, were tense. Thanks to the intervention of Inoue Kaoru and Itō Hirobumi, elder statesmen who were concerned about ...
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Draft Proposal of the “Osaka Conference Agreement”
Iwakura Tomomi and Ōkubo Toshimichi formed the core of the Japanese government after the political upheaval of 1873. Relations between Itagaki Taisuke and Kido Takayoshi, who were not in government, and Ōkubo continued to be tense. The previous governing alliance had collapsed over a proposed military expedition against Korea. Itagaki and Kido were among the losing faction, most of whom had favored the expedition. However, thanks to the intervention of the alarmed Inoue Kaoru and Itō Hirobumi, several discussions between the related parties were held in January and February of ...
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Addendum to the Draft Proposal of the “Osaka Conference Agreement”
Iwakura Tomomi and Ōkubo Toshimichi formed the core of the Japanese government after the political upheaval of 1873. Relations between Itagaki Taisuke and Kido Takayoshi, who were not in government, and Ōkubo continued to be tense. The previous governing alliance had collapsed over a proposed military expedition against Korea. Itagaki and Kido were among the losing faction, most of whom had favored the expedition. However, thanks to the intervention of the alarmed Inoue Kaoru and Itō Hirobumi, several discussions between the related parties were held in January and February of ...
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Imperial Rescript Establishing a Constitutional Form of Government
A decision was taken at the Osaka Conference, held from January to February 1875, to restore Kido Takayoshi (1833−77) and Itagaki Taisuke (1837−1919) to their posts as sangi (councilors). The two men had resigned, in 1874 and 1873 respectively, in protest against military expeditions against Taiwan and Korea. The Osaka Conference issued the “Imperial Rescript Establishing a Constitutional Form of Government,” spelling out the national policy to create a constitutional political system in Japan. It also prescribed the establishment of the Genrōin (Chamber of Elders), Daishin'in (Supreme ...
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Japanese House of Representatives Member Certificate of Mutsu Munemitsu
The first election to the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Japanese Diet, was held on July 1, 1890, with 300 seats to be filled. The franchise was limited to about one percent of the total population. Mutsu Munemitsu, minister of agriculture in the first cabinet of Kōshaku (Prince) Yamagata Aritomo  (1838—1922), the first prime minister under Japan’s new parliamentary system, won a seat in the House of Representatives in his home region of Wakayama. He was the only member of the cabinet to become a ...
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Draft Proposal of the “Rikken Seiyukai (Association of Friends of Constitutional Government) Bylaws”
Itō Hirobumi (1841−1909) had mulled over the formation of a new party in Japan, to be composed mainly of his supporters from among the government bureaucrats, with support from the urban commercial-industrial interests. At the same time, the Constitutional Party led by Hoshi Tōru, in collaboration with powerful figures from the clan-dominated government, were exploring ways to accede to power. Both those groups joined forces to form the Rikken Seiyūkai (Association of Friends of Constitutional Government) on September 15, 1900. It is said that more than 1,400 people ...
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Copy of “Rikken Seiyukai (Association of Friends of Constitutional Government) Bylaws”
Itō Hirobumi (1841−1909) had mulled over the formation of a new party in Japan, to be composed mainly of his supporters from among the government bureaucrats, with support from the urban commercial-industrial interests. At the same time, the Constitutional Party led by Hoshi Tōru, in collaboration with powerful figures from the clan-dominated government, were exploring ways to accede to power. Both those groups joined forces to form the Rikken Seiyūkai (Association of Friends of Constitutional Government) on September 15, 1900. It is said that more than 1,400 people ...
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Guidance for Families on How to Emigrate to Brazil
In 1922 the Japanese Home Ministry proposed an array of measures to encourage emigration to São Paulo, Brazil in order to solve the problems of overpopulation and unemployment in Japan. These included the dissemination of information about emigration through subsidies to a private emigration company (assumed to be the Overseas Development Company, established in 1916); the provision of educational and sanitary facilities in overseas destinations; discussions about industrial law; and financial assistance for travel by emigrants and for housing construction and living expenses. The Foreign Ministry, which was the main ...
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The Diary of Moromori
This work is part of a series of diaries kept by Nakahara Moromori (dates unknown) in 1374-99. Moromori was an official of the imperial government who wrote his diaries in the margins and on the reverse sides of calendars. His memoranda on the military and social affairs of the day are among the best sources available for the study of late-14th century Japan.
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People of Many Nations
During the nearly two centuries of restricted foreign contact during the Edo period (1600–1868), the Japanese people still maintained a curiosity about foreign cultures. This map, published in the early 19th century, depicts an enormous archipelago representing Japan at the center of the world. Inset images and descriptions of foreign people, the distance from Japan to their lands, and differences in climate are noted. The locations listed include the “Pygmy country, 14,000 ri” (1 ri = 2.4 miles), “Woman country, 14,000 ri,” and “Black people country, 75 ...
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The Humors, Devil to-Suppress "Kwai-Danzi"
The victory of Japan in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–5, a collision over economic and political influence in Korea and Manchuria, marked the first victory of an Asian nation over a European power. This unexpected turn of events compelled the West to reassess the status of Japan in the international political order. Among Asian nations, it shattered the image of the invincibility of Western authority. While many in Japan were dissatisfied with the peace treaty that ended the war, Japan’s victory nevertheless confirmed the success of the Meiji ...
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Foreigners' Ship: Steamship
Commodore Matthew C. Perry entered the port of Yokohama in 1853 with an intimidating fleet of steam warships, in order to compel Japan to open up after nearly two centuries of restricted foreign contact. The Japanese people became increasingly exposed to Western culture as new trade agreements prompted cross-cultural interaction. The mixture of anxiety, curiosity, and awe at this influx of unfamiliar technology and customs is reflected in the detailed depictions of foreign subjects by ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world) artists. With the arrival of Perry, Yokohama-e (pictures of ...
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Farewell Present of Useful White Flag, Which Russian General's Wife Thoughtfully Gives When He Leaves for Front, Telling Him to Use It As Soon As He Sees Japanese Army
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
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General Kuropatkin Ready for Anything Awaits the Coming of the Japanese
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Japan Holds the String When Russia Reaches to Grasp
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
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Kuropatkin Secures Safety - Your Flag Does Not Work, Try Another
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
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Kuropatkin As Town Crier
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Army of the North Melts Away Before the Rising Sun
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Tsar Sees His Forces Returning
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Dreams of a Russian General
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Russian Sailors Making Cannon Balls for Their Battleship’s Guns
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Russian General Kuropatkin in a Sack
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Russian Generals Very Politely Lay down Their Arms
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
O'Fuko Throwing Beans for Good Luck and to Drive the Devils Away on New Year's Eve
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Three Crab Soldiers, Two with Picks Chopping up the Ground, and the Third Is Standing on the Wall of a Fort
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Russian General, Shaking with Fear, Telephones the Tsar Who is Also Being Annoyed by the Tsarina
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Whale and Three Fish Sitting down to a Formal Dinner of Russian Sailors
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
Contributed by Library of Congress