TYPE: Fabric Art
DIMENSIONS: 2 1/2 X 3 3/4 inches (portrait) 6 1/2 X 9 1/4 inches (mounting card)
NOTES: Rare.
ITEM ID: 1585
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Fabric Portrait of General Nogi

DATE
Decade: 1900s
Century: 20th (1901-2000)
Notes: Meiji era

Stevensgraph-like fabric portrait of General Nogi.

Count Nogi Maresuke (乃木 希典), also known as Kiten, Count Nogi (December 25, 1849 – September 13, 1912), was a Japanese general in the Imperial Japanese Army and a governor-general of Taiwan. He was one of the commanders during the 1894 capture of Port Arthur from China. He was a prominent figure in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05, as commander of the forces which captured Port Arthur from the Russians.

He was a national hero in Imperial Japan as a model of feudal loyalty and self-sacrifice, ultimately to the point of suicide. In the Satsuma Rebellion, he lost a banner of the emperor in battle, for which he tried to atone with suicidal bravery in order to recapture it, until ordered to stop. In the Russo-Japanese War, he captured Port Arthur but he felt that he had lost too many of his soldiers, so requested permission to commit suicide, which the emperor refused. These two events, as well as his desire not to outlive his master (junshi), motivated his suicide on the day of the funeral of the Emperor Meiji. His example revitalized the samurai practice of seppuku ritual suicide.

Stevengraphs are pictures woven from silk, originally created by Thomas Stevens in the 19th century. They were popular collectable items again during the revival of interest in Victoriana in the 1960s and 1970s.

Scholar Haruko Satoh commented, “The back of the mounting card has script talking about the Ashikaga weaver, the Numai family that I presume produced this print. It looks like a ballpoint memo for someone in the Ohata family about Ohata Ayajiro (the name in parentheses) who is related to the Numai family.”