Meiji (?) Era Woodblock Battle Scene
Japan: c. 1877. Colour-printed woodblock. Paper toned. Minor nicks to margin. Very good condition. Sheet size: 14 1/2 x 24 1/4 inches.
19th century Japanese war print.
This print was probably made in connection with one of the battles between the samaurai and national army that occured after conscription became law in 1873. The samaurai looked upon this Western-style modernization of the Japanese military as the destruction of their way of life, as indeed it was, and there were several clashes between the Emperor's new army and the rebellious samaurai. Here the samaurai have the best of it, apparently pushing a landing army back into the sea, despite the cannons and rifles the new army has.