vertical ōban triptych; nishiki-e; sensō-ga
This triptych bears both the artist's signature and seal at lower-left of the left panel. Both identifying marks can be read as either "Yoshikuni" or "Bihō." Very little is known about the artist, except that he was a designer of kachō-e, or 'animal and flower pictures," and prints of the Russo-Japanese war, like this one, for the publishing firm Daikokuya Heikichi, run by Matsuki Heikichi in 1904 (Marks, 274; listed as "Hirose Yoshikuni"). This artist is also sometimes identified as Takahashi Bihō, as they share the same signature (see Merritt, Helen, and Nanako Yamada, "Bihō," from 'Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints," University of Hawaii: Honolulu(1992): 15.) Another copy of this print, which can be found in the Boston MFA (2000.471a-c), has been used as the basis for the publisher's attribution and the date; that impression is dated October 15, 1904 (Meiji 37). The Mead's impression has no visible publisher's marks.