The Battle of Usri (Ussuri), Siberia. Captain Konomi Died in the Battle, Fighting


On August 24, 1918, the Allied forces fighting in the Russian Civil War went on the offensive against Bolshevik forces at the Ussuri River north of Vladivostok. In the battle, the 12th Infantry Division of the Japanese Imperial Army and a contingent of Czechoslovak troops pushed the Red Guard back 15 miles (24 kilometers). This lithograph shows the death of Japanese Captain Konomi during the battle. According to official figures, he was the only Japanese soldier to die in the battle. This is one of two lithographs in the collection showing this battle and noting Captain Konomi’s death. The mountains shown in the background are part of the Sikhote-Alin range, an area that today is a nature reserve that is home to endangered Siberian tigers. 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