Hatsutaro. Maekawa Bunzo & Sakai Junzo. 海外異聞 - 一名亞墨利加新話 [Kaigai Ibun - Ichi Mei Amerika Shinwa]. n.p. 1854 Five volumes 25x17cm, publisher's patterned wrappers with title labels; 14 double page - including a map - and 26 single page colour woodcuts. Old ownership seals; some worming which gets a little irritating, mostly in volume two, but hardly fatal; some smudges in the bottom margins; a pretty good set. Au$3500
First edition of this classic drift or castaway account by a Japanese sailor who ended up in America. This was worked up from the account of coasting sailor Hatsutaro whose ship went astray in 1841, ending up on the other side of the Pacific. Rescued, the crew were dropped in Baja California. Hatsutaro and the Captain, Zensuke, made their way back to Japan where he was leapt upon by curious scholars who prepared this in 1844, the year he returned, but didn't publish. Drift accounts, most books relating to the outside, were unpopular with the authorities. Like many books about things western this was circulated in manuscript until the arrival of Perry and his Black Ships made any and all information about the outside world, especially America, desirable and necessary.
The first two volumes are Hatsutaro's narrative and the next three a sort of encyclopedia of America, all prepared by Maekawa and Sakai from Hatsutaro's information and whatever could be gleaned elsewhere. The artist, Morizumi Sadateru (aka Tsurana), reported that, at a loss as to how to illustrate, this he sent for Hatsutaro and they spent days molding rice into landscapes and making models.
A copy of the 1970, Dawson's, translation of this into English will be included if wanted.
To escape the gallery, click on any symbol you find.
For a description, click on this picture.
Click on the description to make it go away.