Emperor Meiji at the Grand Fleet Review, 1905.



1900sHistoric EventsImperial HouseholdPatriotism/Military
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Grand Fleet Review, 1905. A postcard reproduction of Painting #73, on display at the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery.

See also:
Meiji Shrine Outer Garden & Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery under construction, c. 1925.
Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905).

“The high point of Togo’s triumphal return occurred on 23 October [1905], when the navy choreographed the most impressive naval review in Japan’s history to date. Held off the coast of Yokohama, the naval extravaganza intermixed commemoration of Japan’s sacrifices in the war with a celebration of the navy’s maritime successes and power.

“… Assembled in Yokohama harbor were 146 warships and twelve large transport vessels, arranged in six impressive lines that measured approximately five miles long and more than two miles across. Resplendent with bunting, formal dress, and smartly dressed sailors and officers, it was apparent to all who viewed these lines of warships that Japan’s fleet had indeed returned home as victors.

“The political component of the review took center stage in the program soon after the emperor arrived by train from Tokyo. Upon arrival, the Meiji emperor boarded the warship Asama to lead the review of the fleet. Once he was settled on the battleship, the navy directed political dignitaries, journalists, and select civilians to board the Manshu Maru and the Yawata Maru, transport vessels specifically decorated with captured Russian military spoils. These vessels closely followed the Asama as it steamed through and around the warship lines.

“… When these review ships completed their formal, highly ritualized inspection, a process that took upwards of three hours, the navy announced that civilian vessels could, if they would do so in an orderly fashion, likewise inspect the ships of the line, a proclamation met with widespread enthusiasm.”

Making Waves: Politics, Propaganda, and the Emergence of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868-1922, by J. Charles Schencking, 2005

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