Scene From Naval Battles in the Sino Japanese War

Creator: Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915?), Matsumoto Heikichi (woodcarver)
Date Created: 1894
Location: Japan
Physical Dimensions: 47 x 82.5 cm
Medium: Woodblock Print on Paper
Period: Meiji

This woodblock print comes from the Meiji period, when the emperor had regained control over all of Japan. During this time period, the Japanese embarked on a series of imperialist conquests to spread their influence over East Asia. This print shows a battle scene from the First Sino-Japanese War, when Japan and the Qing Dynasty went to war over control of the Korean peninsula. In the image, sailors can be seen trying to save themselves as their ship goes down. Both the events above and below the surface of the water are depicted, with the fire and terror of war seen above, and the mysterious depths of the sea below.

Author: Henry Smyth

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