Kobayashi Kiyochika, 1847-1915
Our Field Artillery Attacks the Enemy Camp at Jiuliancheng
(Waga yasen hohei Kyurenjo bakuei kogeki)
titled at the top edge of the center sheet, Waga yasen hohei Kyurenjo bakuei kogeki, signed in lower left corner of left sheet, Kiyochika, with artist's seal, with carver's seal Hori Yata, dated in red on the left margin of the left sheet, Meiji nijushichinen juchigatsu juichi ka (Meiji 27, November 11), followed by the address of the publisher Inoue Kichijiro (Teikado), 1894
oban tate-e triptych 29 1/2 by 14 3/4 in., 75 by 37.6 cm
Kiyochika was lured back to designing prints with the outbreak of the war with China in 1894 and the sudden burst in popularity of battle prints. This print is one of his most evocative senso-e (war prints) depicting a scene almost completely enveloped in dark heavy bands of rain, slicing and striating our view. Although Kiyochika had a unique personal history with experience in real battles during the Boshin War, neither he, nor his colleagues, would have seen the sheer power of the pyrotechnic exposures that were employed during the Sino-Japanese War. The only colorful illumination in this otherwise dark rendition is the artillery fire, pulsating yellow and orange in the distance. In this powerful composition Kiyochika focuses on the pathos of the soldiers manning the cannon to the left and their mounted commander in the center panel, his horse bowing his head in the pouring rain.
Hideki Kikkawa, Kobayashi Kiyochika: Studies in Light and Shadow of the Westernization of Japan, Seigensha Art Publishing, 2015, p. 145, no. 217
Kobayashi Kiyochika: A Retrospective, Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, 2016, p. 142, no. 228
Bradley M. Bailey, Flash of Light, Fog of War: Japanese Military Prints, 1894-1905, Ackland Art Museum, 2017, p. 109, no. 51
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accession no. 2000.411a-c
(inv. no. 10-4876)
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.
site last updated
July 23, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
Join our mailing list...