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. Kiyochika also became a full-time political cartoonist for a Japanese magazine in 1882–93. The satirical writer Honekawa Dojin (pseudonym of Nishimori Takeki, 1862–1913) supplied each illustration with an accompanying humorous description. In this print, General Aleksei Nikolaevich Kuropatkin, the Russian Imperial Minister of War, reassures his wife that he will be able to run away should he encounter the Japanese army, but his wife has made a white flag for him to use to surrender in case he cannot escape.

Last updated: November 30, 2016