Sino-Japanese War 1894-95: Social Commentary/Satiral Prints
 
 
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Kiyochika produced this manga series of political cartoons during the Sino-Japanese war in 1894-1895, when Japan fought with China for control over Korea and won. The title of the series is a pun on the phrase, “One Hundred Battles, One Hundred Victories.”

This unique series is one of Kiyochika’s most unusual works. Drawn in a distinctly comic style, each print is a wildly imaginative illustration filled with unrestrained fantasy and exaggeration. Kiyochika’s satiric depictions poked fun at the Chinese and flaunted the new modernization of Meiji era Japan as superior to the old ways of China. Ironically, these images often paralleled the “anti-Oriental” cartoons that Westerners were producing at the same time.

The series title Hyakusen hyakusho, literally "One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs", is a pun on the expression "One Hundred Battles, One Hundred Victories" (both pronounced Hyakusen hyakusho).1 The series was issued in three parts and presented parodies of the enemy, here of the Chinese in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895. This part consists of fifty oban-sized prints entitled. One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs, issued between September 1894 and August 1895, published by Matsuki Heikichi

Each print in the series is illustrated with a humorous scene related to the war by the artist and contains accompanying comments, riddled with wordplay and irony, by the writer/journalist Nishimori Takeki (1861-1913), using the pseudonym Koppi Dojin ("Master Skin and Bones"). The series title Hyakusen hyakusho appears in the cartouche in the upper right of the print. The print's title and the pseudonym Koppi Dojin appear in the right most column within each text box at the top of the print. 

The woodblock prints in this series are pure propaganda, and it cannot be denied that from today's point of view some depictions are quite racist. 


 
     
 
 
 
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