Soldier and woman, Russo-Japanese war print? (previously mistakenly numbered AND043A)

Title: Soldier and woman, Russo-Japanese war print? (previously mistakenly numbered AND043A)

Artist : Unknown

Period: Meiji to Taisho era, late 19th-early 20th century


Culture: Japan

Medium: Woodblock print; ink and color on paper

Dimensions: H x W (image): 30.7 × 22 cm (12 1/16 × 8 11/16 in)

Respiratory : Robert O. Muller Collection

There is no doubt that saying goodbye to a loved one can be the most difficult thing a person can do, especially if it is the final one. The woodblock print of the Soldier and Women highlight this struggle but at same time both individuals come to terms of acceptance while hinting that this print may have some ties to buddhist belief. The woodblock print showcases a man and women. The man is dressed in a medium tone brown military attire because during this time many people were sent off to fight in WWII. The woman is dressed in traditional Japanese clothing and both individuals have their heads tilted down looking in two different directions. Both individuals have their eyes closed as they gently lean towards each other as they cherish potentially the last moments that they have with each other. The color palette of soft color tones definitely help contribute to the sadness to the woodblock print. Interestingly, for most people the thought of saying  goodbye to a loved one can bring nothing but sadness. However, when visually looking at the man and women not a single tear or any sign of sadness is depicted in this work art. This raises questions to think that perhaps both these individuals have some sort of knowledge or practice buddhism in particular of the three universal truths. Out of the three universal truths, “Everything Changes” is best represented in this print. As both individuals look down trapped in their own thoughts the idea of accepting that everything comes to an end lingers through their mind.   


Image Credit: Charles Silver and Paul Ruther

Author: Ramon Carrillo Martinez

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