First Lieutenant Morinaga's Hard Fight during the Sino-Japanese War
((Nisshin senso Morinaga chui no funsen))
embellished with gofun snow; signed Yoshu Chikanobu with red artist's seal, publisher's cartouche of Fukuda Kumajiro with date Meiji nihachinen sangatsu (Meiji 28  March)
oban tate-e 14 3/4 by 29 5/8 in., 37.5 by 75.4 cm
Born Hashimoto Naoyoshi, Chikanobu was a retainer of the Sakakibara clan of the Takada Domain in Echigo. After the collapse of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1868, he joined the Shogitai, an elite samurai infantry loyal to the shogunate, and fought against the newly formed Imperial government at the Battle of Ueno on July 4, 1868, which nearly wiped out the Shogitai. Along with the remaining Shogitai forces, Chikanobu then joined up with the rebels of the Ezo Republic (loyal to the Tokugawa) in the northern island of Hokkaido where they fought the Imperial forces in the Battle of Hakodate. After the Ezo were defeated in 1869, Chikanobu was remanded back to the authorities in the Takada Domain in Echigo. Six years later in 1875 he traveled to Tokyo to try to make a career for himself as an artist. He studied with a student of Keisai Eisen, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, and Utagawa Kunisada. Although he is most commonly associated with images of beautiful women, he had a prolific career, producing images in a variety of genres including war prints.
Nathan Chaikin, The Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), 1983, pp. 89-97 (re: The Manchurian Campaign), cat. no. 76, color photo p. 187
Bradley M. Bailey, Flash of Light, Fog of War: Japanese Military Prints, 1894-1905, Ackland Art Museum, 2017, p. 118, no. 56, object no. 2014.40.57a-c
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, accession no. S2003.8.2627 (without gofun snow)
(inv. no. C-3012)
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site last updated
December 7, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
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New York, New York 10019
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