Dramatic naval scene from the Sino-Japanese War of a Japanese warship steaming through a heavy storm At left, two Japanese soldiers can be seen in a boat being rowed across the waves, the seated officer gripping a handgun as his companion stands, watching the ship in the distance. At right, several Chinese hurry away from the rocky shore, one losing his hat to a gust of wind. Rain slants down over the white-capped waves crashing towards the shore.
A fantastic image, wonderfully drawn and detailed, with fine bokashi shading, and touches of burnishing in the black uniforms.
The descriptive note relates: “During the assault on Port Arthur, close communication between the army and the navy were essential. These two officers braving various dangers of sea and land carried out their duties to achieve the objective. Are they not what true soldiers should be?”
Ginkō’s artistic vocabulary comes directly from Kuniyoshi and his followers, Ginkō’s immediate predecessors in ukiyo-e. Although they are merely visual clichés for danger and excitement, in Ginkō’s hands the driving rain and breaking waves serves to unify a composition in which each sheet could function as a separate design.
Collections : Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.
References : Illustrated in the 1991 Worcester Art Museum Catalogue “In Battles Light”, Catalogue number 47.
Illustrated in the 1977 Kodansha publication, First Sino-Japanese War Nishikie Chronicle (Ukiyo-e,