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1894 Meiji Print of Sino Japan Naval Battle Engagement

1894 Meiji Print of Sino Japan Naval Battle Engagement

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Woodblock Prints: Pre 1900: Item # 380963

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This is a remarkable western style marine / naval print or engraving from 1894, or Meiji 27th year. The title is "Japan Qing Naval Battle near Hoto island". There is a text frame on the upper right describing the event. The legend below gives the printing year and date (8th month 4th day), and publication date of 8th month the 7th day. Also gives the publisher, Kato in Nihonbashi and the printer, Suzuki in Kyobashi, both name and address.

Image approximately 21 1/4 by 15 1/2 inches. Full margins about 1 3/4 inches left and right and slightly smaller top and bottom. Edges dog eared and slightly trimmed, and paper toned. It looks like newsprint stock on the heavy side. Print itself is in good condition save for a couple of short creases and pin prick.

Nevertheless, this is a pretty remarkable very early Japanese print using early western printing press. It is rarer than traditional woodblock prints.

Be sure to see my other print from the same series.

------------------------------------- Notes. The Meiji Restoration came about with Emperor Meiji's reforms to open Japan to absorb & master western technology across the board. Early fruition was found in the wars with Russia and China. This war, which Japan launched against Korea, lasted from June to August. The Koreans called on the Qing Emperor for assistance but the Chinese were also defeated with the destruction of their navy. Japan then occupied Korea until 1945. They also obtained an extra-territorial concession in Shanghai, gaining the same status as western powers. Coupled with success in the Russo Japan War, this watershed event established the momentum for the Japanese expansionist ambitions leading to World War II. It is remarkable that the drive to surpass in technology (maybe not war) continues to this day. The old Emperor Meiji truly understood his people's penchant for perfection and established a direction which continues now even after 150 years.