For the Russian empire, the Russo-Japanese war was large disappointment on the nation’s spirit, and what many say was the biggest contributing factor to the revolution of 1905. But at the time, the Japanese victory in the war a source of national pride among it’s people, throughout the course of the war, several artists created wood block prints exhibiting the various battles of the war. The battle of Port Arthur and the Yalu River were popular topics.
Artists sometimes made an effort to show the invading Russians as foolish and savage-like (One print shows wounded Russians being treated by the Japanese Red Cross, with a picture above showing the same soldiers killing Japanese villagers.). The prints were sometimes accompanied with news reports of the battle, as proper photography was not readily available. Some artists, like Kobayashi Kiyochika had created satirical prints similar to political cartoons, the image you see above is one of his works, the translated text of the cartoon is below:
Not a single win had the Russian Navy and Army but full of flat and crushing defeats in the battles against the Japanse Force. Keeping their defeats secret from their home, they constantly conveyed false reports. The apparatus used by the Russians — the battleship, the cannon, the locomotive and the telegraph — were so fed up and went home to show the reality. Battleship: “Here I am the battleship. I got destroyed by the Japanese forces, now here’s how I look like.” Cannon: “Me I am the cannon. I got heavily attacked by the Japanese forces and became so a crippled style like this, so that no one can recognize what I am.” “Me too, me too,” follows the locomotive and the telegraph. All of them heavily deformed and nearly wiped out, wrapped with bandages or carrying crutches, the apparatus reported every details of the defeats. A Russian noble (Nicholas II), learning (of) the total defeat for the first time said: “Hmmm, not even the reports we had so far were very much victorious, but I did not realize we were losing that badly. Well, it’s too late anyways; sorry I am, but just be injured guys.”
The main subject of many of his humorous characitures involved Tsar Nicholas II or some form of leadership in the Russian Army.
If you would like to see more prints from the war, follow these links: