The Crying Sounds of a Telegram
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, conceit, and cowardice. In this print, a Russian couple, possibly the tsar and tsarina, receive a telegram and expect it to be full of victorious news. They shed tears of chagrin after finding out about the successive victories of the Japanese army.
Yoshikawa town, Japan
Title in Original Language
Type of Item
1 print : woodcut, color ; 36.9 x 24.4 centimeters
Last updated: February 12, 2016