IJN Mikasa

IJN Mikasa
Japanese inks on Red Star Peking rice paper
70cm x 137cm

Mikasa is a pre-Dreadnought battleship of the Imperial Japanese Navy, launched in Britain in 1900.  She served as the flagship of Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō during the Battle of the Yellow Sea on 10 August 1904, and the Battle of Tsushima on 27 May 1905 during the Russo-Japanese War.  The ship is preserved as a museum ship at Yokosuka.  Mikasa is the last remaining example of a pre-dreadnought battleship anywhere in the world. She was named after Mount Mikasa in Nara, Japan.
Following the 1894–1895 First Sino-Japanese War, and the forced return of the Liaodong Peninsula to China under Russian pressure, Japan began to build up its military strength in preparation for further confrontations. In particular, Japan initiated a ten-year naval build-up program, with the construction of six battleships and six armored cruisers at its core.
The last of these battleships, Mikasa, was ordered from the Vickers shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, United Kingdom at the end of 1898, for delivery to Japan in 1902.  That same year Japan also secured diplomatic and strategic support, by concluding the 1902 Anglo-Japanese Alliance with the world's strongest naval power. The United Kingdom shared Japan's wish to contain Russian expansionism in the Far East, especially to protect its interests in China and India.

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