Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2014.20
People
Ogata Gekkō, Japanese (1859 - 1920)
Title
General Ōdera Attacking the "Hundred Foot Cliff" with All His Might (Ōdera shōgun zenroku o furuite Hyakusekigai o shūgeki suru no zu)
Classification
Prints
Work Type
print
Date
1895
Places
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Period
Meiji era, 1868-1912
Culture
Japanese
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/351214
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Woodblock printed oban-sized triptych; ink and color on paper
Dimensions
full triptych: H. 35.7 x W. 71 cm (14 1/16 x 27 15/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: lower right corner of right print: printed signature: Gekkō
  • seal: printed in lower right corner, following signature: Gekkō
Provenance
[Israel Goldman--Japanese Prints, London, (? - c. 1995)], sold; to Drs. Neil and Elizabeth deSabato Swinton, Newton, Mass. (c. 1995 - 2007), inherited; by Dr. Elizabeth deSabato Swinton, Wellesley, Mass. (2007 - 2014), gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2014.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Elizabeth de Sabato Swinton in honor of Sylvan Barnet
Accession Year
2014
Object Number
2014.20
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.
Descriptions
Description
This horizontally oriented, woodblock-printed triptych comprises three individual sheets, each approximately 15 inches in height and 10 inches in width, that together form a panoramic scene dramatizing an historical event that took place during the first Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895). At the far left, four figures seen in profile stand atop a snowy cliffside rampart. Just beside them, is a large cannon aimed to the right over the ocean toward approaching Chinese warships, which enter the scene at the far right. Japanese Major General Ōdera Yasuzumi (1846–1895) stands triumphantly at the front, holding an unsheathed saber in his right hand, and a small telescope in his left. Billows of heavy smoke from cannon fire surround the standing figures, nearly concealing the presence of a slain Chinese soldier, whose lifeless leg and abandoned trident lie on the ground before the General. Behind General Odera, two Japanese soldiers stand at the ready, while a civilian with the collar of his cloak upturned to protect him from the cold and falling snow, bears witness to the unfolding scene. The civilian depicted is Kubota Beisen (1852–1906), a Kyoto artist and reporter who followed Japanese troops during the war and documented their battles in both words and illustrations. Although the Japanese army successfully captured the Chinese fortress at the “Hundred-Foot Cliff,” the highest peak near Weihaiwei harbor, Kubota reported that as General Odera and his men were about to leave, Chinese warships bombarded the fort, and Odera was critically wounded by exploding shrapnel. The General died two hours later, making him the highest ranking Japanese officer killed in this war.

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu