Russian Soldier on Horseback, Carrying a Sword in Right Hand, a Spear in Left Hand, and a Rifle Mounted on His Chest with a String Extending from the Trigger to His Mouth

Description

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. The series mocked the Russians for their perceived military weakness as well as conceit and cowardice. This print depicts an anxious Cossack soldier using various weapons to protect him from all sides. He worries about falling off his horse if attacked from behind.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Yoshikawa town, Japan

Language

Title in Original Language

Russian Soldier on Horseback, Carrying a Sword in Right Hand, a Spear in Left Hand, and a Rifle Mounted on His Chest with a String Extending from the Trigger to his Mouth

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : woodcut, color ; 36.7 x 24.8 centimeters (sheet)

Last updated: March 2, 2012