Japanese Sailor, with His Bare Hands, Is Fighting with Two Russian Battleships (with Arms, Legs, and Faces), a Third Battleship Runs Away
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 pair often personified weapons and ships to ridicule and dehumanize the Russian forces and contrast them with the stronger Japanese army and navy. In this print, Russian ships suffer damage from the Japanese navy and attempt to escape back to the seaport of Vladivostok.
Yoshikawa town, Japan
Title in Original Language
Japanese Sailor, with His Bare Hands, is Fighting with Two Russian Battleships (with Arms, Legs, and Faces), a Third Battleship Runs Away
Type of Item
1 print : woodcut, color ; 36.8 x 24.8 centimeters (sheet)
Last updated: March 2, 2012