Miss Jiuliancheng and the Russian Soldier (Kyûrenjô no heiki)


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. This print depicts the Russian army retreating and abandoning Kuren jyō (Miss Jiuliancheng) as soon as the cannons of the Japanese army fire during the Battle of the Yalu River. This confrontation was one of the early indications that Japan was capable of fighting on an equal footing with Russia.

Last updated: March 2, 2012