The Splendid Deed of the Brave Soldier Shirakami

Migita Toshihide Japanese

Not on view

This print illustrates a scene from the Sino-Japanese War, fought in 1894–95 over control of Korea. Despite being hit and his body thrown backward, a Japanese bugler, Shirakami Genjiro (1869–1894), clings to his instrument, an indication of his unwavering loyalty and bravery. Shirakami died by drowning in the war and was honored as a national hero. Artists like Migita Toshihide, who were disciples of traditional ukiyo-e artists and studied Western techniques, depicted historical battles and contemporary overseas battles for a domestic audience. The death of individuals was glorified through impactful imagery, promoting the idea of self-sacrifice for the country.

The Splendid Deed of the Brave Soldier Shirakami, Migita Toshihide (Japanese, 1863–1925), Triptych of woodblock prints; ink and color on paper, Japan

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