Kuropatkin on His Knees amid Ruined Battleships Appealing to Saint Andrew, the Patron Saint of Russia, Who Is Holding a Large Sword and Shield


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 narrative of this print is in the form of a conversation between General Aleksei Nikolaevich Kuropatkin, the Russian Imperial Minister of War, and Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Russia, who reprimands the general for bringing back a fleet full of holes.

Last updated: March 2, 2012