January 30, 2012

Kuropatkin is Surprised at his Dinner by Wounded from the Front

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 shows General Aleksei Nikolaevich Kuropatkin, the Russian Imperial Minister of War, upsetting his dinner table as he learns of Russia’s defeat in the Battle of Tokuriji. Wounded Russian soldiers with battleship guns, rifles, and telegraph poles in place of their heads and a locomotive with arms waving a white flag with a red cross approach from the left. Kuropatkin is dismayed at the losses and asks how his forces could be so weak. The conversation between Kuropatkin and the soldiers contains a pun on the word tokuri (sake bottle).

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.

The Tale of the Rooster

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. This print forms part of the series, Rokoku seibatsu senshō shōwa (The expeditionary war against Russia: tales of laughter). The illustrator is Utagawa Kokunimasa, also known as Baidō Bōsai or Utagawa Kunimasa V (1874–1944). 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. The text is littered with puns that play on Chinese characters that indicate negative meaning, such as death and suffering, or names of battle locations. In this print published in 1904, three Russian soldiers are shown by a campfire with a rooster, their tents in the background. They discuss the military strength of Japan using various references to birds.

America

After nearly two centuries of restricted foreign contact, Japan was increasingly exposed to Western culture in the 1850s, as new trade agreements prompted cross-cultural interaction. The influx of unfamiliar technology and customs incited anxiety as well as awe among the Japanese populace, and their strong curiosity is evident in the detailed depictions of foreign subjects by ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world) artists. Hiroshige II (circa 1826–69) was the pupil and adopted son of the great landscape master, Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858), and produced this work in 1860. In this print, a woman representing America is shown wearing a feathered headdress and riding sidesaddle on a horse in a snowy landscape.

A Map of the World

While under nearly two centuries of restricted foreign contact during the Edo period (1600-1868), the Japanese people still maintained a curiosity in foreign cultures. World maps in particular are indications of how the Japanese perceived their country and its position in the international community. Many were published in the port city of Yokohama and popularized for both informational and entertainment purposes. This map, a woodcut dating from the second half of the 19th century, depicts an enormous archipelago representing Japan at the center of the world. Images of a Russian soldier and an American soldier and the brief history of each country are placed in insets. Different kinds of ships dot the seas. The map is also accompanied by a table showing the distance from Nagasaki to various foreign countries, such as China, India, and the Netherlands. On the bottom right are the names of feudal lords who were assigned the duties of guarding the coast.

Razi's Philosophical Treatises with Surviving Pieces from His Lost Books

One of the earliest pioneers in the history of medicine, Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi (also known by the Latinized version of his name, Rhazes or Rasis, 865–925 AD, 251–313 AH) was a Muslim Persian polymath, physician, and philosopher. He was born in the city of Rayy, near present-day Tehran, Iran, and spent most of his life between his birthplace and Baghdad, the capital city of the Abbasid caliphate. He taught medicine and was the chief physician in both cities. He made major and lasting contributions to the fields of medicine, music, philosophy, and alchemy and was the author of more than 200 books and treatises. This work is a selection of Al-Razi’s philosophical treatises. It discusses topics that include spiritual healing, metaphysics, divine knowledge, and concepts of time and place.