"Haichi ni Tsuke!"  
("Man Your Battle Stations"!)
Artist: John Meeks
Original painting is oil on canvas measuring approx 24" x 18"
Limited Edition Prints available measuring 11" x 8.5" with titles in English & Japanese and bearing a Japanese Naval ensign
Subject: Japanese I-Boat crew "caught napping" by unexpected aircraft attack.

The story behind the painting...

Why would the Japanese, a people who have given the world such exquisitely beautiful gifts such as Bonsai, wonderful pottery and artwork, are the pioneers of wonderfully minimalistic design and renowned
for the gorgeous presentation of their cuisine with sushi and sashimi, and have in postwar years offered gems of engineering design in the most skilfully designed cars and motorcycles .....put so much junk on the conning tower of a submarine!

It almost looks like a Paris rooftop, doesn't it ! But, there you go....

These guys have really been "caught napping", as we see them scramble for cover on the approach of a B24 bomber "out of the sun".

Actually, all that 'junk' is probably going to become their downfall; the big Japanese I-boats were notoriously slow divers - partly because of the huge conning towers they sported. (Although, not much worse than their American counterparts, it has to be said). And, as is evidenced in this painting, they suffered badly from the lack of radar, which only equipped a very few Japanese boats towards the end of WWII. What we see instead are those remarkable "ear-trumpets" that seemed to adorn every ship in the Imperial Japanese Navy. And that's precisely what they were! Sound detectors - "poor man's radar".... and not always too effective!

When I was painting this piece, I was struck very much by this. I was also struck by the fact that this conning tower started to look almost as large as the promenade deck on Titanic! (...and we all know what happened to her! .....actually, Titanic was probably the quicker diver...!)


Looking a bit closer.... 2 parts of the 
painting in detail.

I was also quite pleased with the officer figure. Even though I didn't really intend him to, he seems to come across as a rather nasty little man.  Not the sort of character you would like to work under perhaps, ... but then, with a couple of bottles of sake under his belt, who knows?.. It's quite possible he could have been the life and soul of the party !  Regardless, no one is listening to him!..these fellows are "out of here" ...fast !

Limited Edition Print
(100 prints - signed & numbered 11" x 8.5")

30 + 7 postage



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