Original Toshikata (1866 - 1908) Japanese Woodblock Print
A Modern-day Kagesue, 1894
Senso-e - Senso-e are prints depicting wars, most often the Sino-Japanese War of 1894 - 1895 and the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 - 1905. Primarily triptychs, these images filled the journalistic need for illustrations of current activities on the battle front, but also acted as propaganda, encouraging support for the wars and fostering patriotism. These prints emphasized the bravery and success of the army and navy, using dramatic designs and bold compositions, with customers eagerly purchasing the latest prints. Some famous Meiji era artists did senso-e, including Kiyochika, Chikanobu, and Gekko. By the time the Russo-Japanese War came around, woodblock prints had fallen out of favor due to competition with photography and lithography, so fewer designs exist from this time period as compared to the Sino-Japanese War.
Comments - Dramatic image from the Sino-Japanese War of a Japanese soldier climbing of the top of a fortress wall to storm the gun mounts. With a look of fierce determination, he grips his sword overhead with one hand, astonishing the Chinese warriors on the other side. One enemy has been his in the face, blood streaming from his wound as he falls backwards. Another Chinese emerges from the opening for the cannon's barrel, brandishing a sword. Shots streak across the sky leaving orange trails, exploding in starbursts of flames, as smoke billows across the scene. The title favorably compares the soldier to the fearless Minamoto samurai Kajiwara Kagesue (also known as Kajiwara Kagetoki), who was famous for racing across the Uji River in a contest to engage the enemy first during the second Battle of Uji in 1184. A terrific composition.
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 14" x 27 7/8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three attached panels, backed with paper. Slight soiling, a few creases at edges. Please see photos for details. Good overall.