The Landing of the Japanese Army. Welcomed by Every Nation at Vladivostok


On January 12, 1918, the Imperial Japanese Navy battleship Iwami sailed into the port of Vladivostok on Russia’s Pacific Coast. The Japanese government was concerned that the port, which faced the Sea of Japan and held significant stockpiles of materiel, would come under Bolshevik control. Japanese troops remained offshore until April 5, when a Japanese-owned store was looted and two Japanese nationals were killed during a riot. After the incident, the Japanese government approved the landing of a company of marines, which proceeded to occupy the city. A detachment of 100 British marines also participated in the landing. In this lithograph, Japanese troops are seen disembarking at the port of Vladivostok as enthusiastic local residents wave Japanese flags. Between August 1918 and October 1922, the Imperial Japanese Army participated in the “Siberian Intervention,” an attempt by the Allied powers of World War I to support White Russian forces against the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War (1917–22). Soldiers from nine countries participated in the intervention, which began in August 1918. While the United States and the United Kingdom withdrew their forces in 1920, the Japanese army remained in the Russian Far East and Siberia for another two years. More than 70,000 Japanese troops participated in the fighting. To support the action of the Japanese military, in 1919 Tokyo-based publisher Shōbidō Co. Ltd. produced a series of patriotic lithographic prints depicting various scenes from the campaign entitled “The Illustration of the Siberian War.”

Last updated: November 14, 2017