Citizens Greeting the Carriage of His Imperial Majesty and Commander-in-Chief
Gekko Ogata (Japanese, 1859 – 1920)
DimensionsWork : 13 5/8 x 28 in. (34.61 x 71.12 cm)
Credit LineHope College Collection
LabelThis print depicts an imperial procession approaching the Hibiya Arch, a monumental structure built near the imperial palace in Tokyo to commemorate Japan’s triumph in the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-95. Prior to the Meiji period, Japanese emperors had rarely ventured outside of their palaces and were almost never seen by ordinary citizens. The Meiji emperor, by contrast, appeared frequently at public events and sought to project an image of himself as a modern monarch who cared deeply about his people. The Meiji emperor’s more visible public persona inspired great devotion in his subjects and helped fuel a fervent nationalism in Japan that persisted through the first half of the 20th century. By portraying the imperial procession from a vantage point within the crowd, the artist makes us spectators and encourages us to imagine all the colors, noise and excitement of the event.