Naval Battle at Inchon: The Great Victory of the Japanese Navy


Artist
Kobayashi Kiyochika (Japanese, 1847 – 1915)
Date
1904
Medium
Woodblock print
Dimensions
Work : 14 3/4 x 29 5/8 in. (37.47 x 75.25 cm)
Each : 14 3/4 x 9.9 in. (37.47 x 25.24 cm)
Credit Line
Hope College Collection
Object Number
2016.51.A-C

Label
After being defeated by Japan in the war of 1894-95, China allowed Russia to build a naval base at Lushunkou on the southern tip of the Liaodong peninsula. China hoped that the Russian presence would deter further aggression by Japan, while the Russians were happy to obtain a warm-water port for their growing Pacific fleet. Japan saw Russia’s presence in China as a threat to its regional interests and tensions between the two countries gradually escalated. Finally, in February, 1904, Japanese and Russian naval forces clashed in a battle off the coast of Inchon, Korea and war was declared. As a major European power, Russia was expected to defeat Japan easily, but instead it suffered a long string of losses both at sea and on land. The Russo-Japanese War came to an end in September, 1905 when both sides signed the Treaty of Portsmouth, which was negotiated by United States President Theodore Roosevelt. Although Japan won the war, the victory came at a great cost in terms of lives and resources and many Japanese were disappointed that the war did not result in any significant territorial gains or reparation payments for their country. 

Object Type
Print
Academic Themes
War and Peace