Kobayashi Kiyochika Landing and Advance to Weihaiwei

Kobayashi Kiyochika, 1847-1915

Landing and Advance to Weihaiwei
(Ikaiei joriku shingun no zu)

signed on right sheet, Kiyochika, with artist's seal Kiyochika, published by Takekawa Seikichi (Sawamuraya Seikichi of Seieido), ca. 1895

oban tate-e triptych 14 1/2 by 28 1/8 in., 36.7 by 71.4 cm

On January 20th of 1895, Japanese troops began to land at Rongcheng Bay on the Shandong Peninsula near the naval base of Weihaiwei where the Chinese Navy had regrouped after the fall of Port Arthur in November of 1894. They faced a difficult journey in harsh weather over snow-covered roads to lay siege to the Chinese. Kiyochika illustrates a Japanese commander on horseback, with two officers standing at attention to his left and right, and the background filled with a line of soldiers in formation and ready to begin their march. The snow settles in clumps on the horse's protective blanket and on every available surface of the officer's great coats (lined with fur). The troops in the background are barely visible through the blur of grey and white snowflakes, their feet lost in the drifts and fog.

References:
Louise E. Virgin, et. al., Japan at the Dawn of the Modern Age: Woodbock Prints from the Meiji Era, 1868-1912, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2001, p. 145, no. 51
Rhiannon Paget, in Hu, et al., Conflicts of Interest: Art and War in Modern Japan, Saint Louis Art Museum, 2016, p. 154. no. 57 and p. 172, no. 68 (suguroku game with Fenghuangcheng image)
New York Public Library, Donald Keene Collection
Smithsonian Sackler Gallery
Art Institute of Chicago
Harvard Art Museum
Waseda University
(inv. no. C-1488)

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