Ogata Gessan


A Conflict on the Yalu River
(Oryuokkojo no shototsu)

signed Gessan with artist's seal Ensei, dated on the left margin with publisher's information for Matsuki Heikichi (Daikokuya), Meiji sanjunananen, gogatsu (Meiji 37 [1904], May)

oban tate-e triptych 14 7/8 by 29 5/8 in., 37.7 by 75.4 cm

In Conflicts of Interest, Paget connects the subject of this print with a report of a skirmish which took place on April 10, 1904, near the mouth of the Yalu River which was recounted in Japanese newspapers four days later. According to one of the articles, a small group of six Japanese soldiers on reconnaissance encounted and exchanged fire with group of seven Russian soldiers, who were quickly reinforced by several dozen men. The Japanese took up position on the left bank and were able to drive the Russians away with the help of Japanese cavalry scouts firing from the shore. Paget points out the sophisticated printing of the translucent smoke obscuring the Russian forces on the far shore.

Rhiannon Paget, in Philip K. Hu, ed., et al., Conflicts of Interest: Art and War in Modern Japan, Saint Louis Art Museum, 2016, pp. 226-227. no. 101.1-101.2, accession nos. 406:2010a-c (triptych), and 939:2010a-c (keyblock proof)
Bradley M. Bailey, Flash of Light, Fog of War: Japanese Military Prints, 1894-1905, Ackland Art Museum, 2017, p. 131, no. 69, object no. 2017.4.4
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accession no. 2000.447a-c
(inv. no. C-3027)

price: $900


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site last updated
March 21, 2023

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475