University of Delaware
Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1862). Japanese Warrior Kashiwade no Hanoshi Kills a Tiger in Korea, 1830-32. From series: Eight Hundred Heroes of the Water Margin of Japan, courtesy of Hong Gyu Shin

Sept. 4-Dec. 8: 'Samurai to Soldier'

'From Samurai to Soldier' exhibition on view at Old College Gallery


8:56 a.m., Aug. 30, 2013--The University Museums of the University of Delaware will present the exhibition “From Samurai to Soldier: Japanese Prints of War 1830-1897” in the Old College Gallery from Sept. 4-Dec. 8.

The mention of Japanese woodblock prints or ukiyo-e (literally “floating-world pictures”) usually suggests images of serene landscapes, famous Japanese landmarks and beautiful women (bijin-ga).

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However, a less well-known but equally popular form of the Japanese woodblock prints were musha-e, or warrior prints and sensō-e or scenes of contemporary war.

As nationalist sentiment in Japan grew during the course of the 19th century, printmakers and publishers produced thousands of war prints for a public enthralled by their dynamic compositions, heightened action, and depictions of remarkable heroism and bloody violence. 

This exhibition presents musha-e and sensō-e from the Edo (1603-1868) and Meiji (1868-1912) periods, illustrated the shift in subject matter from imagined scenes of 16th century samurai to soldiers of the late 19th century Sino-Japanese War.

For more information see the University Museums website or call 302-831-8037.

The 19 prints on view were generously lent by Hong Gyu Shin, who graduated from UD in 2013. In addition to his interests as a collector, he opened the Shin Gallery – dedicated to contemporary Korean Art -- in January.

The exhibition is curated by Anna Juliar and Hong Gyu Shin. Anna Juliar, a doctoral student in art history, was the research assistant for the University Museums from 2012-13. She is currently the Margaret R. Mainwaring Curatorial Fellow in the Prints, Drawings and Photographs Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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