Tokyo: Taishomyoshozuesha, 1919. Color folding map, 7.5" x approximately 2'8", depicting a bird's eye view of Nikko, Japan, with labels in English and Japanese. The map verso has a description of the area, also in English and Japanese, alongside additional illustrations and a road map. Contained in stiff green illustrated covers, fine, with light rubbing to cover extremities.
January 29, 2019 eList: Asia
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[Tokyo: Usagiya, ca. 1886]. 8.5" x 9.75", pp. 62; 62 full page woodblock prints depicting an imaginary moon civilization; stab stitched in contemporary if not original cloth, contemporary inscription with a little over 100 characters; light worming, repaired and mostly on margins, covers soiled, very good, in a new folding case. Yoshitoshi Tsukioka is recognized as the last great master of ukiyoe. His body of work spans the era of rapid modernization in Japan, as traditional production methods were being superseded by new technologies, and his work reflects the Japanese desire to absorb and exploit their new connection with the West while maintaining a strong Japanese identity. While the traditions of ukiyoe style and subject matter are clearly recognizable in most of his work, Gessekai Shinzo represents a more radical departure of the art form. Its composition and line work reflects a clear influence from Western engraving practices and composition theory as understood through the lens of the Japanese tradition. The subject matter also is an innovation. It is in some sense a wordless story, with no clear narrative, but with each image depicting the artist's idea of what a civilization on the moon might look like. The architecture, landscapes, and people all seem to exist as a pastiche of Ainu, Russian, Japanese and Western (particularly biblical) culture. In a contemporary advertisement for the book in the Tokyo Nichinichi Shinbun, the "discovery" of these images is credited to a German scientist named "Professor Burendokon," who made use of the observatory in Berlin to produce this account and satisfy long-standing speculation about what might live on the moon's surface. The very first image in the book, representing the observatory itself, reaffirms that narrative, making Gessekai Shinzo an example of early Japanese science fiction. A remarkable book in both style and subject matter. Rare and little documented. Two copies in Japan, none elsewhere. See Urushiyama, Ehon Nenpyo vol.4 for citation crediting this work to Yoshitoshi.
Washington D.C. A. S. F. Office of the Chief of Ordnance, 1945. Staple bound booklet, 11 x 8.5 inches, pp.  1-78 ; in pictoral paper wrappers, two inch tear to lower cover repaired with tape, corners bumped. A guide to reading Japanese terms particular to ordnance, intended for service members with no prior exposure to Japanese.
Tokyo: Romaji Hirome Kai, Oct 1905 - Sept 1906. A run of the first year of Romaji, "the only Japanese journal transcribed in the roman characters." 4to, pp. 12 for all issues but the first, which is 10 pages; illustrations throughout, all but the first issue with front and back wrappers printed in 2 colors; bound in later cloth-backed marbled boards; spine worn and chipped, lower joint split, the issues themselves are near fine; hiragana conversion charts laid in, katakana conversion chart tipped in, along with forms of support for adoption of romaji in Japanese society. The Romaji Hirome Kai, or Romaji Proliferation Society, was one of a number of groups who advocated for the adoption of romaji in Japanese society in the early 20th century. This publication was their vehicle for popularizing not only romaji as a whole, but their particular method of romanization, which was to be superseded soon after by the Hepburn system in 1907. Romaji was preceded by one other romaji-only publication, (Romaji zasshi, which folded in 1892). Romaji lasted for 40-some years, with the last known issue appearing in the 40s. Its articles included translated literature, guidance on the use of romaji in writing letters, news about romaji adoption in Japanese colonies, and general articles on Japanese culture. Nine institutions record at least one issue in OCLC, with Cornell only cataloging the first volume in its entirety.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967. Second printing, corrected, 8vo, pp. xv, , 535; frontispiece, 8 leaves of black and white plates printed on rectos and versos, plain folding map bound at back; original cloth in white pictorial dust jacket; minor dampstaining to bottom fore-edge only noticeable on verso of jacket, some cockling, else very good. First published in 1951.
Boston, Tokyo: J.B. Millet Co., [1901-02]. Library Edition, limited to 1000 numbered sets, of which this is number 480, 8vo, 12 vols.; the first 8 on Japan, the remaining 4 on China; 12 color frontispieces from photographs, a great many plates (some in color); original green cloth lettered in gilt on spines, t.e.g.; spines faded, else very good.
Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, . Only edition, 8vo, pp. xii, 261; map of Tokyo on front free endpaper, color frontispiece, 21 photographic illustrations on rectos and versos of 7 plates, 4 folding plates (1 in color) after original Japanese prints; publisher's slip tipped to rear flyleaf, as issued; a near fine copy in an unclipped dust-jacket. "This book tells foreign visitors about sights which will interest them, the Japanese attitude, -- enough of the background to ensure appreciation" (jacket blurb). Needless to say the book, badly timed, had no further editions.
Chicago: A. C. McClurg, 1903. First American edition, 8vo, pp. xiv, , 895; photographic frontispiece, 33 plates and maps; original pictorial green cloth stamped in light green and gilt, very good but for darkening to spine, minor rubbing, and a few scattered white smudges (correction fluid?). Japan "as it is rather than as it was" (Introduction). Including chapters on Industrial Japan, Japan as a World Power, and The New Woman in Japan.
Boston: the Cornhill Publishing Company, n.d. 8vo, pp. 460; 49 half-tone illustrations and numerous text illustrations; near fine in original maroon cloth stamped in gilt, t.e.g., dust-jacket with chips at the edges. Covers bronzes, lacquer, fashions, pottery, porcelain, color prints with chapters on Hokusai and Hiroshige, and much more.
[Japan?]: [c. early 20th century]. Accordion-bound large octavo artist's sketchbook, containing 25 double-page, hand-painted color images, including nature scenes, portraits of Hotei and Daruma, and village life. The images are minimalist and bold, with heavy influence from Chinese brush painting. The artist is anonymous, but quite talented. Bound in blue cloth-covered boards with paper label on upper cover; board edges rubbed, water stain to lower right corner of one image. An excellent collection of original Asian art.
Kyoto: 1823. Early edition of a collection of Japanese ballads by the Heian poet and musician Senmaru. 3 vols, pp. ; ; ; 9 double-page color woodblock images by Akatsuki no Kanenari, plus a few single-page illustrations; stab bound, yellow stiff paper wrappers; string broken, cover label on third volume perished, good. A later edition was published in 1850. This is likely the first.
n.p., n.d. [Japan: ca. 1840s-50s.]. The first, approx. 8½" square shows a printed zodiac wheel with a working volvelle in the middle, with 12 zodiac animals and characters for the 4 seasons on a blue background, and within a neat, interlocking black-ruled border; the second, approx. 7" x 9¼" is based based on the I Ching and includes three printed sticks that when tossed produce trigrams. These trigrams are then matched to associated fortunes on a octogonal chart. The center of the chart can be folded over to provide three separate sets of fortunes, apparantly depending on weather conditions.Printed in blues and reds, with a label on back reading, "Kaich sokuza uranai: Shunj doshi;" the third, approx 9" square shows a circular chart with 30 segments in red and yellow on a blue background. The center folds up to become a standing divider. On back is a label in blue and red with an image of a gourd. Accompanied by three cards with text on each side. The second and third items have slight creasing and worming, affecting some text.
Tokyo: Gihido, 1962. 8vo, pp. 7, , 50, , 198, , 31, ; preliminaries in Japanese with English translation laid in, hundreds of illustrations, including plans, layouts, landscapes, and details, most photographic, a few in color, with captions in Japanese and English; blue and white cloth boards with details in blind; owner's stamps on title page, a couple preliminaries dogeared, in an edgeworn blue dust jacket. Saito Katsuo was a Living Treasure of Japan, and designed a number of famous modern Japanese gardens, including Myo-wa-en in Seattle and the rock garden at the New York UN. His analysis of dozens of extant gardens in this book provides a window into his overall design philosophy.
Tokyo: Gyokugandou, [Mid 1800s]. 2 volumes, 39 and 43 leaves, 5 preliminary material and the rest containing conjugation charts for around 700 terms. Bound in the Japanese manner in blue paper covers and paper labels; light wear to covers, string binding renewed, very good. A Japanese grammar. The author's preface is dated Tenpou 12 (1840), though given the nature of woodblock printing and the lack of a proper colophon it is difficult to say if this is the date of printing for this particular copy. Ci.nii.ac.jp lists two editions in 1848 and 1852. An increase in contributors listed in the back of vol. 2 from other known copies suggests our copy was likely printed around the later date.
Tokyo: Zuiji Shobou, 1884. 2 volumes, 50 and 51 leaves bound in the Japanese manner, blue paper covers and paper labels, cover title in vol. 1; light rubbing to covers, ties refreshed, very good.A reader covering difficult points in the Japanese language, with vocabulary lists, grammar charts, and selections of prose marked or highlighted with borders to aid the student.
Tokyo: Kinshodo, 1880. 15 volumes, slim 8vo, original color pictorial wrappers sewn in the Japanese manner, contained in 5 color pictorial sleeves (3 volumes per sleeve, as issued); illustrated throughout in color and black and white; a few minor short tears, minor occasional worming, but generally fine. A famous Japanese story of the "Japanese Robin Hood," illustrated by Baido Kunimasa Gimei No Takashima, i.e. Kunisada II Utagawa (1823-1880), a pupil of Kunisada (Toyokuni III). A movie, starring the Japanese film great Toshiro Mifune, was made of it in 1960 (also known as "The Gambling Samurai") in which "Chuji Kunisada returns to his home village to find that Jubei Matsui, the corrupt magistrate, has been responsible for virtually destroying Kunisada's family. A final tragedy leads Kunisada to join with a band of rogues living in the forest in robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, always with an eye toward avenging himself on Magistrate Matsui." Folk stories such as this "competed with official history, and the protagonists that filled this history were outlaws such as gamblers, chivalrous men, masterless samurai, itinerant priests, and entertainers. Of all the periods of Japanese history, it was at the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate and beginning of the Meiji Restoration (1868) that the roles played by these legendary heroes reached their peak. They were written about in books, depicted in colored woodblock prints, portrayed in Kabuki, and appeared in stories and narrative ballads, becoming popular heroes deeply ingrained in the people's consciousness."
Yokohama: published by the author, 1910. First edition, 2 vols., small 8vo, pp. xxvii, 391, ; vi, 453, ; 70 plates including color frontispieces, folding map; light stains in margins of last few leaves of vol. II, copyright notices inked out in both vols., otherwise near fine in dust-jackets with wear at spines and very small chips at edges. "The story of the lives and adventures of Iyo-no-Kami Minamoto Kuro Yoshitsune and Saito Musashi-bo Benkei the warrior monk."
n.p., n.d. [but Japan: after 1859. An interesting and instructive look at how the Japanese learned English in the generation following Admiral Perry's opening of Japan. 2 volumes in 1, oblong 8vo, approx. 198 french-fold pages sewn in the Japanese manner in contemporary and almost certainly original brown paper wrappers; minor working and wear, but in all a very good and striking example of a Japanese student's workbook for the attainment of English. The book has apparently been copied from American primers published by A. S. Barnes in New York in 1857, and Sargent's School Primer, Boston, 1859; both contain a variety of reading and spelling lessons "especially adapted to the capacity and taste of young children. It is hoped that it will proved [sic] valuable introduction to the national series of school readers prepared by Richard G. Parker." Both Parker's and Sargent's primers were available in bi-lingual editions in the Japanese market. Might this be the manuscript from which a printer might have used to publish the Japanese editions? Throughout, the English text, which has been carefully written in ink, is often translated interlinearly in red ink with Japanese characters creating an attractive visual appearance on the page. Included are 3 pages of alphabets, simple sentences, often in rhyme ("A cart for me / to ride and see / A ship at sea / with you and me." An interesting and instructive look at how the Japanese learned English in the generation following Admiral Perry's opening of Japan.
Japan: ca. 1796. Large 8vo, pp. ; old Japanese "grass" script with Chinese elements, 18 extraordinary double-page watercolor illustrations; sewn and bound in the oriental style (fukurotoji) in original speckled beige wrappers; very slightly worn, preserving the original manuscript label label; a very good, attractive example, beautifully illustrated. An account of a voyage through the Izu Islands, a chain of islands south of Tokyo Bay, including Hachijojima, Hidojima, Arajima, Ooshima, and Miyakejima. Apparently one of three volumes, but this trip is complete unto itself. Apparently this voyage came as the result of an order from the Kansei Shogunate. During this period there were a number of people who traveled at the government's request to record geographical and cultural observations all over Japan, including Ino Tadataka who is known for completing the first map of Japan. Among these travelers was a local magistrate by the name of "Ochu" ("Taichu") who lead an expedition in 1796 to the Izu Islands. With him was the artist Kodera Osai, and it is his art work that graces this spectacular manuscript. The textual account of the voyage, dated April to December, 1796, is also likely his. In it he records excursions to temples (on the island of Hachijo he used the Soufukuji Temple as lodging), recounts his experiences with the local cuisines (he's a fan of sake), takes note of the silk and weaving industry, and records incidents of family life (in one particular household he notes that there were 14 to 15 children, all of whom were hungry). He describes the flora and fauna (but not in scientific terms) and tells of fish, sea turtles, frogs, etc., as well as the local agriculture, mountains, and bamboo forests. He also has an interesting account of a family trying to fix their roof, and mentions that he can see Mt. Fuji in the distance across the sea. He also tells of the costume of the island inhabitants, how they fix their hair, how the women occupy themselves during the day and how they take care of their husbands at night. On the return voyage a storm was encountered and Kodera recounts the rough trip back. The illustrations include a wonderful cartographic illustration of Hachijo, the first island he visited, showing the topography, the villages, trees, a path, etc.; 2 botanical illustrations; 3 illustrations of fish; 3 illustrations of villages showing inhabitants at work and play; a rock lobster; a sea turtle being pulled and prodded ashore by nearly naked natives; two native women (one bare-breasted) before a mirror, as well as other general scenes of the islands and the inhabitants.
Newtown: Bird & Bull Press, 2001. Edition limited 170 copies, this the bookbinder Greg Campbell's copy, Campbell-Logan Bindery, and out-of-series; pp. 197, ; illustrations, facsimiles, photos, and samples tipped in; original quarter morocco, leather spine label, Japanese cloth over boards, cover stamped in gilt; prospectus laid in. In a cloth covered clamshell box with leather spine label. Fine. The gilt Japanese titling on the upper cover has been stamped upside down. Sid Berger called us a day or two after we'd catalogued this book and gave us the story. The entire edition was bound with the Japanese text on the cover upside down. When Morris received the book he was, shall we say, disturbed, and sent the entire edition back to Campbell-Logan where the book was stripped of its cloth cover and the error corrected. Berger tells me that only 3 of the edition still have the original binding with the upside down text: his, Henry Morris's, and this copy from the chastened binder. The first 4-volume set of Tindale's Handmade Papers of Japan is one of the finest books on Japanese papermaking published. This edition expands the text and includes a number of full page illustrations, color photographs, and 7 paper samples tipped in. Forty-Four A66.
Kochi-shi: Kochi-ken Tesuki Washi Kyodo Kumiai, 1990. Edition limited to 500 copies; 2 volumes, small folio, pp. , 106, xiv, ; , 5, , followed by 150 leaves with tipped-in paper samples, each with descriptive text in English and Japanese, ; all on double leaves and bound in original brown wrappers in the Oriental style, printed paper labels on upper covers; volume I contains 8 pages of color photographs, and additional black & white photographs throughout the text depicting the papermaking process, as well as a summary of the text in English; contained in a dark blue folding case with thongs and a printed paper label on the upper cover, and the whole in a black cloth clamshell box with paper label on spine. Published by the Japanese Handmade Paper Association.
North Hills: Bird & Bull Press, 1981. Edition limited to 250 copies (this, no. 112), 8vo, pp. 87, , 12, ; 33 colorful chiyogami samples tipped in, 18 leaves of "screen paper" samples; the text is comprised of a review of a few English language books on Japanese paper (and a facsimile reprint of Henry Munroe's The Manufacture of Japanese Paper); original quarter black oasis over Japanese block-printed Kyo Katazomegami paper by Gray Parrot , teal morocco label on spine; fine. Thirty A32.
Newtown: Bird & Bull Press, 1984. Edition limited to 500 copies (this no. 223), 4to, pp. x, 43, , followed by a facsimile of the Parkes report, 19 facsimile water colors (depicting 20 figures), and facsimile leaves of the papermaking manual Kamisuki chohoki; original maroon morocco-backed decorative paper-covered boards, black morocco label on spine. Accompanied by a separate folio with an extra suite of the 19 watercolors; together in the publisher's slipcase; fine. Henry Parkes was sent to Japan to survey the Japanese paper-making process in 1869. The paintings included were commissioned specifically for this report and were likely copied in part from Kamisuki chohoki. Thirty A38.