print titleKubippiki  (Pulling the necks)
series titleNippon banzai Hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan! One hundred selections, one hundred laughs)
series description50 sheets
artistKobayashi Kiyochika
artist`s sealKiyochika
era nameMeiji 27
year of publication1894/11
publisherMatsumoto Heikichi
inscriptionKubippiki  Koppi Dōjin

Nari ga kozukuri da kara chikara mo nai kara to saru yori mo ototta / asahaka na ryōken de sanzan hito o baka ni shite ita ga. / Unura wa ittai shakushi aru o shitte mimikaki o shirazu. Issun / hachibu no Kanzeon wa ichijō yo no Niō o monban ni tsukatte / iru koto o shiranai no da. Ron yori shōko. Ore no rikiryō / no hodo o misete yaru kara sā kubippiki de kite miro. / Unura no yō na imomushi dōyō no korokoro yarō ga jūppiki ya / nijuppiki hitotsu katamari ni natte kitakaratte taka no / shireta mono da…sora koi sā dō da…Tatta sore / bbakari no chikara ka. Iyahaya nasakenē yatsura da. Sonna / nigekoshi de dōshite ore no koyubi ippon ni mo kanau mono ka/ …untokodokkoi sho. Motto shikkari koi koi/… sōra ii ka to un to hitotsu chikara o ireru to. Go-roku nin no kubi ga ichido ni mirimiri zuruzuruzuru to nama dai/ko demo hikkonuku yō ni nuite shimatta kara soba ni ita Chanchan-bōzu me wa mina odoroita no odorokanai no de wa nai. Atto iisama kubi / no nai karada ni tottsukamatte korya dō da.

Pulling the necks Koppi Dōjin
You even outrange apes with your dullness in thinking we, the Japanese, are small and weak, by messing around with us. You only notice the big things (like dippers) but ignore the important tiny things (like sticks for cleaning the ears).
You don't know that Kannon with the shortness of 1,8 sun (3,03 cm) has Niōs as guards sizing more than one (3,03 m). I'll give you a demonstration rather than argue. I'll show you my strength, come on, let's fight in neck pulling!
You cowards are worthless like crawlers. Even when you attack me in numbers of tens or twenties, it's nothing for me…well, how do you like this? Is this all you have to offer…? Cowards, that's all you are! You are so sneaky that even the strength of one of my fingers is enough. Heave ho! Come on, come on, and give it a try! Well, I put only a little more strength in it and immediately the heads of five, six men are getting stretched. Stretched like white radish, pulled out from the ground. There is no way that the nearby Chinese aren't afraid…
And so they clutch their headless bodies together and scream: ”What's going on?/There are only trunks left (pun on dō da).” (SH)

image descriptionThis print shows five men, four Chinese typically dressed and with long pigtails and one Japanese soldier wearing a western-style dark uniform. The latter has laid a rope around his neck and is now stretching the necks of three Chinese men by pulling the rope at the back of their heads.
While these men are lying on the floor, the fourth is kneeling beside them and yelling. (SH)

interpretationThis print is part of a series relating to the First Sino-Japanese War, 1894-95, which occurred between Japan and China about Korean policies. It took less than one year for a Japanese triumph over the giant enemy, which changed the western public perception of Japan in an eminent way.

Here, a single Japanese soldier is playing kubippiki with three Chinese rivals. Kubippiki is a Japanese game played to challenge the strength: The combatants try to pull each other away by a rope bound around their necks.
It is a propagandistic caricature placing emphasis on the (apparent) superiority of the Japanese – it takes one single Japanese soldier to crane the necks of three weak enemies and give the other one a good scare.

The illustration dates back to November 1894, when Japanese troops already had captured Talien (Jap. Dairen, 7th of November) and the taking of Port Arthur (21th of November) was almost in sight. (SH)
referenceDiesinger 1986:24-25
copyrightPrivate Collection
image categoryfūshiga, giga, Nisshin sensō-e
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