Picture of the Saikyo-maru's Hard Fight off Haiyang Island
(Kaiyoto oki Saikyo-maru funsen no zu)
the title along the top margin of the center sheet, signed Kiyochika with two artist's seals, the left margin dated Meiji nijunananen, jugatsu (Meiji 27 , October), followed by name and address of publisher Ayabe Hanjiro, and carver's seal, Sugiyama Eikichi, 1894
oban tate-e triptych 14 3/4 by 30 in., 37.4 by 76.1 cm
The Saikyo Maru was a cargo ship that was requisitioned and armed by the Japanese navy in 1894 and famously participated in the battle of the Yalu River (also known as the Battle of Haiyang Island) on September 17th under the command of Captain John Wilson (born Frederick Walgren, Swedish, 1851-1899) while carrying the viscount Admiral Kabayama Sukenori, chief of the Naval General Staff of Japan. The Saikyo Maru was hit by four 12 inch shells and attacked by torpedo boats. Although she lost the protection of the main Japanese fleet during the battle, she managed to avoid sinking and escape due to her speed and Captain Wilson's capable command. The story of Captain Wilson's expert maneuvering became famous among Japanese naval lore.
Nathan Chaikin, The Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), 1983, pp. 75-80 (re: Battle of the Yalu River)
Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), Vienna, inventory nos. KI 14514-8-1, KI 14514-8-2, KI 14514-8-3
Saint Louis Art Museum, object no. 404:2010a-c
(inv. no. C-3018)
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Contact Katherine Martin at
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site last updated
April 16, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
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