Uryu Masakazu & Hashimoto Sadahide 西洋新書 [Seiyo Shinsho]. Tokyo, Yamatoyo Kihei (Eto Kihei for volumes 6 & 7) 1872 -75 (Meiji 5 to 8). 23x15cm, 7 volumes in 14 parts publisher's wrappers with printed labels (recently restitched); seven double page colour maps, a folding plan, a folding plate, two double page and some174 other illustrations (most half page) by Sadahide. Some surface nibbling of part covers toward the outside of the bundle; a rather good set. Au$3500
A complete set, which is rare, of this expansive gathering of news from the west. The title is well represented in libraries but I could not find a complete set anywhere outside Japan. Few libraries get close. Even the electronic version held by many seems to be incomplete.
I can't work out the organisation of this but, roughly, the first half of the work is devoted to the United States and Mexico before moving on to Europe. A lot is military with much on the civil war, pretty up to date and natural enough for a country just emerged from their own civil war and having to face and deal with the threat of the west. The plan of Paris is dated 1867 which together with the folding plate of Paris vignettes is from material presumably collected at the Exposition.
Sadahide is not so well served by his block cutters as he was with his masterpiece books like the views of Yokohama life and Meriken Shinshi but there is plenty of charm and characteristic sharp-eyed fluid precision. He was, after all, getting on and was dead before the sixth and seventh volumes appeared so he may not have had much to say about it.
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