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The Port Arthur Surrender

Battle Between the Japanese and Russians at Seoul: Hurrah for the Great Victory of the Japanese Empire

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

The Port Arthur Surrender

by Utagawa Kokunimasa, 1905 

IHL Cat. #1469

About This Print

Using the signature Ryūa, as he did for all of his Russo-Japanese War triptychs, Kokunimasa gives us a view of the second meeting between Japanese General Count Nogi Maresuke (乃木 希典), (1849–1912) and the Russian Major-General Baron Anatoly Mikhailyovich Stoessel (1848–1915) on January 7, to discuss the conditions for the transfer of prisoners.  In the left panel we see captured Russian soldiers being led by Japanese officers bearing the Imperial Russian flag as a sign of respect for their vanquished foe.

General Stoessel formally surrendered Port Arthur (Lushunklou, China) on January 5, 1905, after withstanding a nine month siege in which over 47,000 Japanese and 22,000 Russians had been killed or wounded. 

The general terms of the surrender of prisoners provided for the "rank and file of the prisoners to be sent to Japan until the close of the war and the officers to return to Russia on parole. "

General Stoessel's December 28, 1894 Letter Describing the Horrors of the Siege

The position of the fortress is becoming very painful.  Our principal enemies are scurvy, which is mowing the men, and eleven-inch shells, which know no obstacle and against which there is no protection.  There only remain a few who have not been attacked by scurvy.  We have taken all the possible measures, but the disease is spreading.  The passive endurance of the enemy’s bombardment, the eleven-inch shells, the impossibility of replying for want of ammunition, the outbreak of scurvy, and the loss of a mass of officers – all these causes diminish daily the capabilities of the defense.  The tale of the losses of higher officers is an indication of the enormous losses we have sustained.

While the war officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth September 5, 1905, with the fall of Port Arthur, Russia’s defeat was assured.

Japanese General Count Nogi Maresuke
(乃木 希典), (1849–1912)
Russian Major-General Baron Anatoly Mikhailyovich Stoessel (1848–1915)

Meeting of Nogi and Stoessel after the surrender of Port Arthur
Preparatory Drawing for Illustration Appearing in
War in the Far East: A History of the Russo-Japanese Struggle v. 3-4

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1469
 Title (Description) The Port Arthur Surrender 旅順降服
 Illustration of the Second Meeting Between General Nogi and General Stoessel to Review Prisoners of War
 乃木大 將トス テツセ ル将軍 ノ會見 并二捕 虜檢閲 之図
 Ryojun kōfuku: Nogai taishō to Sutesseru shōgun no kaiken nami ni horyo ken'etsu no zu
 Artist Utagawa Kokunimasa 小国政   (1874 – 1944)
柳蛙 Ryūa (signature used for Russo-Japanese War Prints)
 Seal 江戸子 Edoko ("true Tokyoite") (see image above)
 Pub. Date February 1905 (Meiji 38) (as shown in publisher seal below)
武川清吉 Takekawa Seikichi (firm name Sawamuraya Seikichi) [Marks: pub. ref. 459; seal not shown]
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent 
 Condition excellent
 Genre nishiki-e, senso-e (Russo-Japanese War)
 Format vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper 
 14 7/8 x 9 7/8 in.  (37.8 x 25.1 cm) each sheet
 H x W Image R: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in.  (36 x 23.5 cm)
 C: 14 1/16 x 9 3/16 in.  (35.7 x 23.3 cm)
 L: 14 1/8 x 9 3/16 in.  (35.9 x 22.3 cm)
 Conflicts of Interest: Art and War in Modern Japan, Philip K. Hu, et. al., Saint Louis Museum of Art, 2016, p. 237, pl. 110
 Collections This PrintSaint Louis Museum of Art 758:2010a-c
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