A MILLION QUESTIONS
TWO MILLION MYSTERIES
Port Townsend, Washington
Long Live Japan - 100
Victories, 100 Laughs
日本萬歳 - 百撰百笑
(Shinbei no hiyakasare)
Note: The Museum of Fine
Arts, Boston says of this title:
"...this design utilizes a
play on the meanings of hiyakasu, 'to chill' or 'to laugh at.' "
Although trimmed it is
Good color and backed.
Note: There is another
copy of this print in the collection
of Waseda University,
another one in the
Ruth Chandler Williamson
Gallery at Scripps College
and one at the Museum
of Fine Arts, Boston.
"During the war with
China, as throughout most of his career, Kiyochika revealed two faces, one
lyrical and one comic. The lyric impulse during this period was reserved for
the triptych format, while the comic spirit found expression in a series of
single-sheet color woodblocks entitled 'One Hundred Victories, One Hundred
Laughs' (Hyakusen hyakushō). The publisher was Matsuki Heikichi, who was
also responsible for the majority of Kiyochika's war triptychs.
The series appeared in
two parts, with different prefixes to the main title. First came 'Long Live
Japan: One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs,' a total of fifty sheets
that appeared from as early as October 1894 and on into the late spring of
1895. At this point a table of contents was issued listing the first fifty
prints and announcing a change in the series title to 'Magic Lantern of
Society: One Hundred Victories, One Hundred Laughs,' thus marking the end of
the war. The series continued on into early 1896, although it is doubtful
that the second set of fifty was ever completed."
Note: The title 'Hyakussen
hyakushō' is a pun on the homonyms that can be read either as "One Hundred
Selections, One Hundred Laughs" or as "One Hundred Battles, One Hundred
Victories," a common phrase at that time.