Sino-Japanese War 1894-95: Events leading to the outbreak of war
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Intriguing triptych depicting the beginning of the Korean Incident, which helped lead to the Sino-Japanese War. Kim Ok-gyun was a pro-Japanese Korean revolutionary who sought refuge in Japan after participating in the 1884 Gapsin Coup. Korea tried to extradite him but Japan refused. Kim Ok-gyun was lured to Shanghai where a Korean man killed him at a Japanese Hotel, an act which incensed the Japanese.
Kim Ok-gyun is shown in the centre, floating upon a cloud of dark smoke and glaring angrily as he looks down upon a Korean castle or shrine. He wears a delicately embossed pale green robe with a dragon chest plate, and a hat with a sheer black covering. His long hair and beard flutter in the wind. Ornate tile-roofed towers rise above the treetops at lower left, the red-orange colour adding a lively note to the sombre colour of the background. A fascinating subject with beautiful details and shading.

Collection : Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.
                     British Library
                     The Tokyo College of Economics


References : Illustrated in the 1977 Kodansha publication, First Sino-Japanese War Nishikie Chronicle (Ukiyo-e,
                        1894-95), pp.20,21


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