JAPANESE PRINTS

A MILLION QUESTIONS

TWO MILLION MYSTERIES

 

Ukiyo-e Prints

浮世絵版画

Port Townsend, Washington

 

 

 

WATANABE NOBUKAZU

渡辺延一

わたなべ.のぶかず

1874-1944

Publisher: Hasegawa Sonokichi

長谷川園吉

はせがわ.そのきち

Date: 1895, 8th Month, 24th Day

Meiji 27

明治27

 Print Sizes: 14" x 9 1/4" each

 Condition: Good color, some slight soiling. The right hand panel shows a couple of small marks or stains. None of the prints is backed or connected.

ORIGINALLY $310.00

NOW ON SALE FOR $210.00

 

LOWERED AGAIN TO $135.00

 

 

  THE BECKONING CAT LOGO  
     
   
 

Publisher:

Hasegawa Sonekichi

 
     

 

 

THE TITLE

LEAVES

NOTHING TO

THE IMAGINATION

 
     
   
  TRIUMPHAL ARCH  
  凱旋門  
  がいせんもん  
     
   
 

Above is a photographic record of one of the 'grassy' triumphal arches built to celebrate Japan's great victory over the Chinese. Is the Nobukazu print based on this particular arch? I don't know. The inscription reading "Triumphal Arch" is the same although it may not be easily read in this reproduction.

 

 (This photograph is not being offered for sale.)

 

 

 

 

BABES IN TOYLAND

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This detail shown above reminds me of the 1934 Laurel and Hardy film "Babes in Toyland" with its "March of the Wooden Soldiers" or even to some degree of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite". Elaborate, staged and artificial.

 

While war is not a theatrical production it may sometimes seem that way if you aren't fighting in or threatened by its immediacy. (This, of course, is how it seemed prior to our exposure to near and real time events.) For the Japanese artists it was an opportunity to rev up the national sense of pride via a well organized propaganda machine.

 

Unlike the print on this page many of the more violent encounters of the Sino-Japanese War were never actually viewed by the artists who illustrated  them. The bam, flash, kaboom and oomph of the battle front were not always part of the artist's assignment. Reports from the war would be telegraphed back to Tokyo with detailed accounts and the artists would reenact the scene from his studio. "Only a handful of printmakers went to the front to sketch... Most were less adventurous, content to be armchair artists following the news of the battle as it reached Tokyo, working from photographs if they were diligent but relying on imagination if information proved inadequate, as it usually did."*

 

*The World of the Meiji Print: Impressions of a New Civilizaton, by Julia Meech-Pekarik, Weatherhill, New York and Tokyo, 1986, p. 201.

 

 

 

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