A large bronze image of General Nogi Maresuke astride his horse in battle during the Russo Japanese war. The equestrian figure is beautifully rendered, showing expert knowledge of the horse musculature and military equipage. It is 53 x 23 x 43 cm tall (21 x 9 x 17 inches) and weighs 15 kg (32 pounds). Obviously, shipping will be a consideration with this piece.
Count Nogi Maresuke (1849-1912) was a national hero of four wars and served as a model of feudal loyalty and self-sacrifice, offering all in the name of the state. In the Satsuma Rebellion he fought for the emperors cause, and felt disgraced at having allowed an Imperial banner to fall into the hands of the enemy. He was in command during the first capture of Port Arthur by the Japanese, and was marred by the massacre of the citizens there after the fall. During the Russo Japanese war, he was again charged with the capture of that city. Despite losing both his sons to battle in that war, British historian Richard Storry noted that Nogi imposed the best of the Japanese samurai tradition on the men under his command such that "...the conduct of the Japanese during the Russo-Japanese War towards both prisoners and Chinese civilians won the respect, and indeed admiration, of the world". After the second capture of Port Arthur, 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, motivated his suicide on the day of the funeral of the Meiji Emperor. His example revitalized the samurai code of Bushido.
Ito Kunio (1890-1970) exhibited with the Bunten National Exhibition and Exhibition of the National Art Society among others; remembered specifically for his expert depiction of horses in motion. Rush of a Gun Carriage (horses pulling a gun carriage through the mud) by the artist is held in the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. His sculpture of the Meiji Emperors Horse (under the jurisdiction of the Imperial Household Agency) stands among 700 cherry trees in Atago park, Noheji, Aomori prefecture. Two large sculptures of a horse, and a horse with its foal are on the grounds of the Hokkaido Agricultural School. For more see the 1968 book: Uma, Ito Kunio no Chokoku.