Celebrating Admiral Tōgō

The towering Japanese military hero of the Russo-Japanese War—a man whose charisma remains strong in Japan even to the present day—was Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō (1848–1934). Tōgō commanded the stunning surprise attack against the Russian fleet at Port Arthur that started the war in February 1904, and then ascended to the realm of the “military gods” (gunshin) by destroying a Russian armada that had sailed from the Baltic Sea around Africa and South Asia in a vain attempt to rescue the Russians bottled up in Port Arthur in the famous Battle of Tsushima in March 1905. Many Japanese postcards of the Russo-Japanese War turned war leaders into celebrities in a manner never possible before the era of graphic mass communication—and no officer was more celebrated than Admiral Tōgō.
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“Admiral Tōgō and Battleships,” 1906
“Russian Warships Scattered Like Autumnal Leaves”
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“Admiral Tōgō, the Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Squadron”
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“Official Commemoration Card: Japanese Warship at the Front Decorated on the Occasion of His Majesty’s Birthday with Admiral Tōgō”
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“Painting of Admiral Tōgō on Deck” (with hand-written message)
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“Admiral Tōgō on the Bridge”
Images from the Leonard A. Lauder Collection of
Japanese Postcards at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

“Asia Rising” by John W. Dower

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© 2008 Visualizing Cultures
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