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Captain Matsuzaki Crossing the Anjō-sen


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Captain Matsuzaki Crossing the Anjō-sen, illustration from an unknown book or magazine

by Mizuno Toshikata, c. 1894

IHL Cat. #530

About This Print

Captain Matsuzaki is captured in a similar pose in this book print (kuchi-e) as in the artist's triptych The Great Battle of the Ansong Ford: The Valor of Captain Matsuzaki Crossing Anjo (IHL Cat. #168).  The name of the book in which this print served as a frontispiece is unknown.

Crossing the Anjō-sen
Source: In Battle's Light: Woodblock Prints of Japan's Early Modern Wars, Elizabeth de Sabato Swinton, Worcester Art Museum, 1991, p. 74.
In the battle of Asan, south of Seoul, Captain Matsuzaki Naomi led his men across the deep Ansong River on July 29, 1894 to attack the enemy on the other side.  He was hit, but urged his men forward, until he was killed by a second bullet.  It was not the gallant officer, however, but his bugler Shirakami Genjiro, who died blowing the charge, who became the first national hero of the campaign.

Toshikata includes all the details that convey the samurai spirit of the modern warrior.  Advancing under heavy fire, undaunted by personal danger, Matsuzaki charged ahead of his men.  The nighttime sky, lit by a crescent moon, heightens the pathos of the hero's bravery and death.

Print Details
 IHL Catalog
 Title or DescriptionCaptain Matsuzaki (松嵜大尉) Crossing the Anjō-sen (安城川 渡し)
 Artist  Mizuno Toshikata (1866-1908)
 Signature not signed
 Seal  Toshikata
 Publication Date c. 1894 (Meiji 27)
 Publisher unknown
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Collection good - center fold and mounting remnants verso right margin as consistent with mounted kuchi-e; light white chalk marks center of image
 Genre ukiyo-e - senso-e (Sino-Japanese War); kuchi-e
 H x W Paper
 7 x 9 1/4 in. (17.8 x 23.5 cm)
 H x W Image 6 1/4 x 8 in. (15.2 x 20.3 cm)
 Collections This Print