N.1 triptych of ukiyo-e woodblock prints
Year: 1894
Condition: good
Size: 72 x 35 cm



The ancient Chinese city of Fènghuáng Chéng (凤凰城), or “the phoenix city”, was a walled town of great strategic importance, on the border of the neutral zone that existed between China and Korea. Here it is depicted during a battle in 1894 when, in the context of the First Sino-Japanese War (日清戦争), was conquered by the Japanese troops led by Prince Yamagata Aritomo (山縣有朋), by lieutenant general Nozu Michitsura (野津道貫) and by the baron Tatsumi Naofumi (立見尚文), visible in the left panel.

This magnificent and rare triptych of the senso-e (戦争絵) type, literally “war images”, a genre that in those years fulfilled the dual function of journalistic information but also of nationalist propaganda, was made by the artist Goto Yoshikage (後藤芳景) and is titled “China, Japanese Great Victory Over Phoenix Castle” (清國鳳凰城日本大勝利).

The work, printed by the publisher Maki Kinnosuke (牧金之助), consists of three sheets of Japanese washi paper (和紙) glued together and, despite the signs of aging, is in good general condition thanks also to an ancient relining carried out on the back.