The Russo Japan War
2 Volumes, 1904-1905
Army - 23 Parts, Navy - 4 Parts


Military Survey Department
Ogawa Kazumasa (Halftone Plates):
The Russo-Japanese War, Taken by the Photographic Department of the Imperial Headquarters (Army Parts 1-23) and The Russo-Japanese War, Naval, by Permission of the Naval Department (Navy Parts 1-4), Tokyo, publisher - K. Ogawa, agents - Kelly & Walsh, "Copyright 1904, by The Military Survey Department" (Army Parts) and copyright "1904 by "T. Ichioka (Navy Parts), large oblong 4to (14 3/4 x 10 in - 37.5 x 25.5 cm). A two volume set consisting of 27 numbered parts (23 Army and 4 Navy), 787 black and white halftone plates (Army, 660+ plates - Navy, 120+ plates). Of the total 787 plates, 15 are foldout and 19 have tissue overlays with Japanese language descriptive titles. Each part has a title page, listing of plates and ends with a colophon. All plates have Japanese and English descriptive titles on the plate. The plates are generally printed front and back. The volumes read from back to front in Japanese style. Similar to the 6 part set listed below except slightly fewer plates (787 versus 856) and only plates with no text sections.

One plate in this set is particularly interesting. This is plate No. 22 in Part 1. It is titled "Some of those killed in the battle at Tashihchiao" in the listing of contents. The image and titles on the plate have been covered over by a thick tissue overlay which has be pasted down on the plate. This apparently was an effort to censor photographs showing bodies. In the 6 volume set this plate was changed and the substituted image was "Quarters of the garrison at Yingkow after its Occupation. No. 1." A review of all images makes it clear that a conscious effort was made to not show the human carnage of war.

This book is a testament to Kazumasa Ogawa's very high status with the Japanese Government, and the Japanese Army in particular. He was granted unique access to official military photographs in order to prepare a timely photographic record of the war. The Government could have printed the photographs itself or contracted to have them printed. Instead, they were turned over to Ogawa and he was allowed to mass produce and distribute them commercially in the form of books.

The plates found in these two volumes are listed, some with pictures, on the web page for the very similar 6 volume set. To see the listings you can follow the links below.

Index for Russo Japan War, 6 Volume Set
Naval Yalu & Karafuto Armies First Army
Second Army Third Army Fourth Army

It should be recognized, however, that this two volume set has no text sections and fewer plates than the six volume set (ie 787 plates versus 856). The biggest variance appears to be in Part 23.

This set has 15 unnumbered plates. These plates generally show formally posed images of high ranking officers and usually have 2 offices per plate.

For more information on K. Ogawa, click here.



1) Volume #1, Part 1, Plate 22 - completely obscured with tissue overlay Title: "Some of those killed in the battle at Tashihchiao"

2) Volume #2, Naval, Part 4, contains an unnumbered plate which is a map of Yokohama harbor the back of the plate is a table listing ships (all in Japanese)

Imperial Proclamation of War (Japanese & English) (Part 1, Army).

Calligraphic Title (Part 1, Army).

Preface (by K. Ogawa and dated Oct 1904) (Part 1, Army).

Example of Title Page for Army Parts (Parts 1-23, Army).

Example of List of Plates for Army Parts (Parts 1-23, Army).

Example of an Unnumbered Plate.

Example of Colophon for Army Parts (Parts 1-23, Army).

Example of Title Page for Navy Parts (Parts 1-4, Navy).

Example of List of Plates for Navy Parts (Parts 1-4, Navy).

Example of Colophon for Navy Parts (Parts 1-4, Navy)).

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