Japan - gymnastics. 体操教範 [Taiso Kyohan - Manual of Gymnastics]. Ministry of War, 1884 (Meiji 17). 150x110mm in what appear to be original cloth backed boards (spine a touch nibbled); 37 double folded leaves (ie 74pp) and 73 full page illustrations (5 folding) numbered to 32 with several bis. A little worming, nothing notable, and a couple of small stains; a quite good fresh copy. Possibly lithographed throughout. Au$300
The Japanese first got in French experts on military physical training in the late 1860s and the first Japanese book I've been able to trace was a translation of part of an 1847 manual the French visitors brought with them. That is I've traced mention of it, not the book itself. This manual also has the look of coming from a French manual but, being light on in French gymnastic manuals of the mid nineteenth century here, I don't know which one. Certainly it models the fine mustachios that became de rigueur for dashing Japanese officers. The Taiso Kyohan apparently also became the model for gymnastics in secondary schools as the idea of physical education was introduced into Japan. There were many editions of the Taiso Kyohan, presumably updated and changed as the decades went on but I'm unable to trace any copy this early in a library catalogue.
VAN DER PYL, R. [Reinier van der Pijl]. 英吉利會話篇 [Igirisu Kaiwahen] Conversation of English Language; for those, who begin to learn the English. Third edition. Numadz, Watanabe 1871 (Meiji 4). 183x122mm publisher's wrapper with printed label (wrapper discoloured); title leaf and 50pp. Several annotations and corrections in pencil and ink. A nice copy. Au$350
I would elect this a pioneering piece of Chindogu (Japanese unuseless inventions) but that phrase books have a long history of being nonsensical. You may wonder at the lack of parallel Japanese translations in this and suspect that, illogical as it would be, a companion volume exists but it's all weirder than that. No Japanese-English version ever existed. This evolved out of a Dutch guide for learners of English, 'Gemeenzame Leerwijs ...', that was already out of date by the time it was reprinted in Japan in 1857. But it made sense that scholars of things Dutch could use it as a bridge to the fresh urgency of learning English. By the beginning of Meiji learning English was ever more important and Dutch obsolete so naturally enough the Dutch half is dumped and we are left with a series of quaint, stilted, often incorrect, exchanges of little use to anyone in Japan in the seventies. I don't know how much van der Pijl is to blame and how much is local corruption. Nevertheless, three editions and the annotations show that this was used, carefully used. Waseda University helpfully illustrates its copy, likewise, but not identically, dutifully annotated, which all goes a long way toward explaining the Japanese approach to English for the next century or so.
Tameto Abe. 英学捷徑七ッ以呂波 [Eigaku shokei nanatsu iroha]. Tokyo : Harimaya Kiemon, 1867 (Keio 3). 18x12cm publisher's wrapper with title label (midly used); 18 double folded leaves (ie 36pp). Signs of use, an ink smudge across one leaf; still rather good. Au$400
A neat manual for learning to write the English alphabet - it is specifically English rather than generic western - which is read western style: it opens right to left.
Masakata Ishibashi. 英語箋 [Eigosen]. Tokyo [Bankyukau c1870?]. Two volumes (18x12cm) publisher's wrappers, title labels mostly gone. Some worming at each end of volume one, unsightly on a couple of leaves but not serious. Pleasingly used, with some annotations in red, some pencilled notes and a bored-student kabuki face brush drawn at the end of the first volume. Au$375
A comparatively substantial English Japanese vocabulary and conversation book which like many of their first such manuals I suspect is based on some outdated, possibly Dutch model. There seems no other explanation for the long chat about what can only be the Napoleonic wars. The expected errors are sweetly amusing of course but I think I can see two completely different kinds of errors - those that come from phonetic transcription and those that come from copying alien writing. In more than one case I suspect the woodcutter gave up and aimed at a swirl that held the spirit of the word he had to copy. Waseda University illustrates their copies of an 1861 edition, an 1872 edition and an undated edition. This most closely resembles the 1872 edition but there are several differences.
Otsuki Genkan. 西音發微 [Seion Hatsubi]. n.p. [182-?] 26x18cm original wrapper; 3;31;7 double folded leaves (ie 82pp). Some worming, only of moment on a couple of leaves where a couple of characters are obliterated. In a modern chitzu. Au$275
An extraordinarily exact manuscript copy of this pioneering study of western pronunciation by one of the more eminent scholars of Dutch studies. The Seion Hatsubi was published somewhere around 1826 and this is obviously contemporary. Our copyist has skipped the publisher's advertisements at the ends but has otherwise done a job that needs more than a cursory glance to discern from the printed book, even to the extent of reproducing the seals at the beginning and end of the preface. There is a fine tradition of manuscript copies of rare or supressed books in Japan but this is the most exact facsimile I've seen. There is an inscription and small seal inside the back cover that may well identify the transcriber but I can't read it.
英字訓蒙図解 [Eiji Kunmo Zukai or Ei Kuno Zukai depending on the transcriber]. Kyoto, Ogawa Kinsuke 1871 (Meiji 4). 225x155mm publisher's wrapper with title label; woodblock illustrations throughout. Some worming and a marginal stain, neat repairs to the first few margins. A very decent copy with its colour illustrated outer wrapper, this smudged and rumpled but complete and untorn. Au$750
A rare and most appealing illustrated introduction to English. To an extent unseen in any other non-western culture faced with the colonial ambitions of the west the Japanese controlled their own re-education. They were not showered with unwanted primers by missionaries and other pious businessmen. They produced, printed and determinedly digested their own, using whatever sources they could find, the occasional hired expert and their imagination. The more I look at books like these, which were assiduously studied, the more I wonder how anyone learnt any English. How many Japanese went to their graves calling a camera a desk and hoping for an opportunity to introduce 'pluckant' into conversation? Leaving aside errors, books like these make no sense as tools to me but tens, hundreds of thousands of Japanese students set out with these as guides on the road of bunmei kaika - government sponsored enlightenment and civilization - and got there way faster than anyone should have. In fact the more I think about it the more I wonder how anyone learns any language.
OKAMOTO, K.S. [Konseki]. Ancient and Modern Various Usages of Tokio Japan. 古今百風吾妻餘波. Tokyo, Morito 1885. 23x15cm publisher's wrapper with printed title label (wrapper somewhat grubby, label chipped and another old label on the front); 62 double folded leaves, colour woodblock illustrations throughout, one double page, three full page. Used but a most acceptable copy. Au$850
A beguiling and puzzling book. Is it a souvenir for tourists? a primer for westerners learning Japanese? a primer for Japanese learning English? It could be any or all of these. Apart from some hats, and despite the title, there are few signs of the modern world. So, obviously it's for tourists. But why is so much of the text, all the explanatory stuff, in Japanese? The sections on "Celebreted Article and Food" and "Names of Cake" are unillustrated Japanese text. And why are those hats there? So it isn't for tourists. Then why so old world? Is it for Japanese readers as a reminder of what they might lose in the rush to modernise? The opponents of westernisation - and there were plenty - didn't usually write books like these and Okamoto published an "Elementary Spelling Book" a couple of years after this. And why are those hats there? My guess is that it is an attempt to be all things to everyone but those hats still worry me.
Muneaki Mihara. 自在教育法図解 [Jizai Kyoikuho Kuzai]. The Teaching by Pictures the Way of Impraving Freely am Easely the Natural Constitution of Man [sic]. Ritsuma Akiko, 1888 (Meiji 21). Broadside 695x530mm, woodblock printed, folding into publisher's limp cloth covers 173x132mm with printed label. A nice copy. Au$900
An enchanting and self evident exposition on the value of pictures in learning. Seemingly as simple as a phrenology chart but judging by the amount of text worked into all those different parts of the brain perhaps a lot more complex. From the little, as an illiterate, I can glean on brain function as outlined here this might sit somewhere between phrenology and neurophysics. The open area at the very centre of the brain is labelled 未詳 - unknown.
Kurofune Kawaraban. Perry and the Black Ships in Japan. Kawaraban or illustrated news sheet of a sumo wrestler defeating three American sailors while American and Japanese onlookers laugh and clap. n.p. n.d. . Woodblock printed broadside 17x24cm. Some insect holes in the margins repaired. Au$1150
These illicit illustrated news sheets for the streets were produced by the million for a couple of hundred years so of course few survive. They were produced for anything more interesting than the drop of a hat and the arrival of the Black Ships, the American squadron commanded by Perry, in 1854 eclipsed any and all tiresome earthquakes, fires, plages, famines, murders and scandals. For most Japanese this was the same as a squadron of alien space ships arriving on earth now. These prints are the kurofune kawaraban. A joyous depiction of perhaps the first international wrestling match in Japan? The text explains that first one, then two, then three foreigners took on the Sumo wrestler. Our artist captures the moment one hits the ground and the other two are about to follow him. The Americans are laughing hard enough to cry while two of the Japanese spectators take their role as critics or judges seriously. Are they a summation of Japanese reactions to the westerners: disapproval, delight and a clinical determination to do the job right? There exists a kawaraban perhaps by the same artist showing Sumo wrestlers delivering a gift of rice for the Americans to the beach close to their ships. Three wrestlers pirouhette and juggle hefty bales of rice like toys. There was quite a bit of fun in these meetings despite the arrogant aggression of Perry himself. The Ryosenji - the Black Ship Museum in Japan, which boasts the largest collection of Black Ship material - doesn't have a copy of this in their catalogue and I can't find one anywhere else.
Suguroku. 飛行機戦争双六 [Hikoki Senso Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Tanoshiki Danshi 1928 (Showa 3). Colour illustrated broadside game, 40x55cm. Folded, a nice copy. Au$650
A near breath-taking tour de force display of the Japanese talent for blending infantile cuteness, mayhem and sinister threat. Most bellicose nations produced books, pictures and games of and for toddler soldiers but they were usually dressed up kids playing at soldiers. Here we race, using dice, with our child pilot from his farewell ceremony to his triumphant return, destroying any number of enemy ships and planes along the way. Telling is the implication in the last triumphant scene that most important nations of the world supported Japan's war aims; not the US perhaps but Texas was in their corner. Miyazaki is too young to have owned this when new but I can't help believing that images just like this lodged in the child and captivate the adult.
Aso Yutaka. ノンキナトウサン出世双六 [Nonki na Tosan shusse sugoroku]. Tokyo, Hochi Shinbunsha 1925 (Taisho 14). Colour illustrated broadside game (54x79cm); folded, mild signs of use. With the circular portraits of the characters down the side which could be cut out and used as game pieces. Au$650
The new year extra from the newspaper Hochi Shinbun starring Japan's first serial comic strip hero Nonki Na Tosan - usually translated as Easy-going or Lazy Daddy - who first appeared in regular comic strips in the paper the year before. He owed some debt to Jiggs of Bringing Up Father but uncle Nonto was a thoroughly Japanese scapegrace and loafer who quickly made his way into games, toys and, in 1925, a short animated film. Now our game is presented as a film while the information I've found about the film, and all the toys, suggests that they were piracies; comic characters were not protected by copyright. Perhaps an all round notion that popular comic strips and film are natural partners explains what may or may not be a coincidence. This may be Nonto's first sugoroku but it certainly wasn't his last. Come the early thirties as the manga craze blossomed our hero was often teamed with Mickey Mouse and Betty Boop - something of a holy trinity. As said, uncle Nonto is a loafer and this game follows him through a series of disastrous attempts at holding down a job.
観察絵本 - キンダーブック [卜ケイ] [Kansatsu ehon - Kinda bukku - boku kei]. Tokyo, Fureberukan 1932 (Showa 7). Oblong folio, 26x38cm; 16pp including covers, all colour lithographs on light card. Covers dusty with some smallish flaws to the back cover; used but a very acceptable copy. The publisher's colophon, in a corner of the back cover, is framed in a small clock face and an owner has neatly numbered the clock and put hands in at 3 o'clock. Au$350
Telling the time for kids, one in a series of "observation" books begun in 1927 by the now named Froebel-kan - based on the principles of educator Friedrich Froebel. I've found images of a few of these early books and this is the most stylish by miles. The Fureberukan has published magazines and squillions of worthy books since then, still does, and they look pretty revolting. This one steps into nauseating cuteness here and there but the good plates more than make up for it. I can't find a record of this anywhere.
Sugoroku. 子乗物双六 [Ko Norimono Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Seugaku Sophomore, Ist January, 1930 (Showa 5). Colour lithograph broadside, 54x78cm; Folded, a nice copy with the playing pieces intact in the left margin. Au$375
An exciting and vivid jaunt around the world and all forms of transport is the theme here. This was the New Year treat that came with the magazine Seugaku Sophomore (for the second year of primary school). I don't know who those two kids are but they never aged and, with updates in fashion and style, seem to have been on a ceaseless whirl of travel and adventure ever after. For decades new but the same sugorokus appeared. The zeppelin vanished of course, square automobiles became sleek cars, trains went diesel and electric and aeroplanes became jets, and on they went. Perhaps they learnt early what many idle wealthy globe trotters know: that a diet of fine demi-sec and pure cocaine keeps you young forever.
Tsutsumi Kanzo. 漫画双六 世界早のぞき [Manga sugoroku sekai haya nozoki]. Nagoya(?), Shin Aichi 1931. Colour lithograph broadside, 55x70cm; Folded, a touch of nibbling on one edge. a nice copy with the playing pieces intact in the right margin. Au$750
Sugoroku, these paper racing games, like most genres of Japanese graphics range from the fabulous, through insipid to kitsch to awful to downright disturbing. This one is fabulous. Tsutsumi - one of the great pioneers of modern manga - takes two young aviators on quick world tour and shows them all the most important things. Curious, for me, is that each stop is not headed with the country name but some quality, some spectacle, some activity. Thus meeting Mussolini in Italy is titled 'hero'; for baseball we see see Babe Ruth knocking over a New York skyscraper; tennis is Henri Cochet in France; film is of course Charlie Chaplin in Hollywood; science is a zeppelin in Germany; war is Chiang Kai-shek in China; manners are learnt in England from Ramsay MacDonald; I'm not sure what the gymnastic penguins in the Antarctic represent. And so on round the globe with celebrity and national stereotypes galore.
Okamoto Ippei. 漫画双六 [Manga Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shufunotomosha 1929 (Showa 4). Broadside 64x94cm; colour printed. Folded, fairly minor signs of use. Au$650
A splendid large - on better paper than average at this time - and lively sugoroku - racing game - by the illustrator/cartoonist whose place in modern manga history is still being argued. Issued as a New Year supplement to the magazine The Housewife's Friend, the game is an intriguing melange, to me, of the modern and traditional, whether in conflict or harmony or all round mocked I don't know. The winning post - the joyful family of plump plutocrats with both husband and wife looking remarkably like lucky gods - is the dream of the modern young woman being hatched from an egg in the upper right but she is not the starting point of the game. There seems to be several starting points. Did any young western woman ever dream of being rich and fat? Okamoto Ippei began as a newspaper cartoonist for the Asahi Shimbun in 1912, travelled to the US in the twenties and brought back an enthusiasm for American comic strips which quickly spread through Japan. A prolific artist naturally, he has a long bibliography and much of it is found in scatterings in western libraries but I know of only one with a copy of this.
Hayashi Tadaichi. 少年帝都復興双六 [Shonen Teito Fukko Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Nihon Shonen January 1924 (Taisho 13). Colour printed broadside 55x79cm. Folded, some small holes and tears repaired; a pretty good copy. Au$400
Have you seen a better piece of visionary urban planning? This sugoroku - racing game - accompanied the New Year issue of Nihon Shonen (Japanese Boy) and what better way to mark the new year than rebuilding the freshly devastated Tokyo along utopian lines? The title more or less translates as Boy's Reconstruction of the Imperial Capital and I'd move there in a flash. This has been thought out. Public transport is a marvel with canals, aerial cable cars and trains tearing round the city and on and off ferries; the airport is sensibly at flight level, which must save enormous amounts of fuel; I think the floating palace is an overnight shuttle to America. Public health and safety is well considered: the fire brigade operates from a tower with a water cannon that can reach across the city to extinguish fires and the hospital will come to you, no matter the terrain. Culture and sport are catered for and the traditional at heart will be comforted to see industry over on the wrong side of the tracks, well away from the houses on the hill, where it belongs. Two essential Tokyo survivors are the start and finish: Tokyo railway station and the imperial palace. I don't approve of the alarm on the clock tower but no-one can be unimpressed by the solar heating plant. Boy or not, this is the town for me.
和西十體以呂波 [Wasei Jutai Iroha]. Tokyo, Yoshidaya Bunzaburo 1871 [Meiji 4]. 165x63mm, publisher's wrapper with title label (rumpled and forgivably grubby); 30pp accordian folding. Used but a more than decent copy. Au$475
A nifty little pocket book - that opens right to left like western books - teaching how to write English letters but not in English. This teaches how to write Japanese phonetically with the English or romanised alphabet - what was to become romaji. The Portugese missionaries had formulated a romanised system so that missionaries could instruct their Japanese victims without having to learn how to read Japanese but once they were tossed out of Japan such a system was quickly forgotten. It was only with the Meiji restoration and orders from the top that modernisation must follow that making Japanese intelligible to westerners became a desirable skill. At the end are numbers, the twelve animals of the zodiac - more or less, unfamiliar characters and spelling defeated the writer or block cutter on a few - and the seasons and points of the compass. This seems rare, both in and outside Japan. OCLC finds no copies and my searches of Japanese libraries finds only one copy - in the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.
Nakazawa Hiromitsu, Kobayashi Shokichi & Okano Sakae. 東洋未来双六 [Toyo Mirai Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Hakubunkan 1907 (Meiji 40). Colour printed broadside, 55x78cm. Minor flaws and signs of use, some ink splodges on the back. Au$750
A view, or a panoply of views, of a future Asia. Some of these vignettes of what's to come are obvious enough - schoolgirls at rifle drill and sumo wrestlers in striped bathers - but a few seem fairly recondite to me. I'm not sure how much is optimistic, how much is dire warning and how much is wearily stoic. Nakazawa, Kobayashi and Okano, still young, had been fellow students at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, and of Kuroda Seiki, and collaborated on the five volume Nihon Meisho Shasei Kiko, issued over several years.
Sugoroku. Kawabata Ryushi & Hoshino Suiri. 買い物双六 [Kaimono Sugoroku]. Tokyo, 1914 (Taisho 3). Colour printed broadside 79x55cm. Minor signs of use; a nice copy. Au$750
The New Year gift from the magazine Shojo no Tomo - the Girl's Friend. Shopping and fun, fun and shopping, indivisible here as it should be. There is a zen-like approach to this. The goal is the top balcony where the winner can gaze with calm detachment back and down on the world of the great department store. Only by immersing yourself in the experience can you come to comprehend. As the master who gave me the only coherent account of zen I ever heard said, as he bit the top off the eleventieth bottle of beer, "When you're drinking you're only drinking." Kawabata's career took a curious turn during a 1913 stay in America to study western painting. Apparently he was so impressed with the Japanese art he saw in Boston he switched to being a Nihonga painter. Still, he remained being an illustrator for magazines for quite some time. As did most of the early to mid 20th century artists now revered.
Fire. Safety poster. Hokkaido Police. One of a series of fire safety posters produced by the Hokkaido Police. Hokkaido-cho Keisatsubu, 1918 (Taisho 7). Colour lithograph 79x54cm. A bit of browning, a short marginal tear and piece from one corner. Au$650
As a fan of safety posters I can tell you they are not known for subtlety, taste or elegance. I'm not sure whether the quite delicate style and colouring of these make them more or less chilling. In any case nothing could be more chilling than your sleeping infant burning while you gossip over tea. And not only is the baby barbequeing, it is Japan's most precious family treasure - a boy. On a value scale I'd say it goes boy then house then girl. All these posters are signed and sealed by the same artist but I'm unable to read it. Neither can I find an indication of how many were in the series.
Sugoroku. 家庭教育世界一周すごろく [Katei Kyoiku Sekai Isshu Sugoroku]. Osaka Mainichi Shinbun, 1926 (Taisho 15). Colour printed broadside 109x80cm. Folded as issued; minor signs of use, a short tear repaired; not bad for a particularly large and vulnerable sugoroku. Au$350
You must have a smarter brain than me. I'm sure you do. It took me a few moments of slackjawed wonder before I realised this is a world map turned sideways and sat on. From where in space did the artist choose their viewpoint, unpeel the globe and spread it out flat? This a self titled educational game for the family. What does it teach us about our place on the planet and relationship to each other? Maybe that all maps are fiction. The Japanese flag flying in the Canadian Rockies marks the first ascent of Mount Alberta by the Japanese Alpine Club in 1925.
Wakamoto. Sugoroku. わかもと - 漫画健康すご六 [Wakamoto - Manga Kenko Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Wakamoto [c1930]. Colour poster 63x46cm. Folded, a pretty good copy. Au$1150
An early bit of advertising from the health supplement makers and I don't think they've ever done better. The company started in 1929 in Shiba and opened a new plant in 1932; here the address is Shiba. This is a sugoroku, a racing game, and it's a succinct lesson in economics and industrialisation. The body as a machine had been explored by more than one graphic artist but here is not so much an intermediate step as a rational alternative. A production line may be useful but when labour is cheap why would you spend money on machinery? A decent length of sewage pipe, some vats and a manned treatment pond will do the job.
Nakamura Fusetsu. 世界一周双六 [Sekai Isshu Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Asahi Shimbun 1910 (Meiji 47). Colour printed broadside 55x78cm. Folded as issued, mild browning and signs of use. With the playing pieces intact in the margins. Au$850
An elegant sugoroku - racing game - issued by the newspaper Asahi Shimbun to celebrate the 1910 Anglo-Japanese Exhibition in London. Nakamura was a star of the generation that studied western painting and went on to forge a new style of Japanese painting, enlivening magazine work and book illustration.
Yamamoto G.S. [Tadashi]. The Conversations for Officers and Merchants, of the Japanese and English. 英和文章會話篇 [Eiwa Bunsho Kaiwahen]. Osaka, S.H. Okajima 1887. Small octavo (16x12cm) publisher's roan backed decorated boards (rubbed); ,173,,[2 colophon]pp. Title page printed in red and black within a gold frame. Rear endpaper removed, rather good and fresh inside. Au$600
A pleasing little book with the usual amount of baffling and useless conversational gambits plus an emphasis on social niceties - dinners, drinking, dancing and so forth - and business. Worldcat finds only the NDL copy and so can I.
CORNELL, Sophia S. Cornell's Primary Geography for the Use of Schools. First Edition. 地学初歩 [Chigaku Shoho]. Yedo. [Edo (ie Tokyo), Watanabe [1866?]. 18x12cm publisher's wrapper (insect blemished, title label missing); pp on double folded leaves and seven folding colour maps, two colour maps and some illustrations in the text. A stain in the top corner; a thoroughly decent copy. Au$500
I wonder what, if anything, a Japanese student made of Miss Cornell. After her nonsense about Japan, how could anything else she said be taken seriously? Miss Cornell's Primary Geography - one of a string of geographies she prepared for all stages of schooling - first appeared in New York in 1855. Here we are introduced to the concept and working parts of a map, then run through a brief introduction to the regions of the world. There seem to be two printings of this "First Edition"; one dated "the 2nd year of Kei-ou" on the title and apparently without a colophon; the other (our copy) not dated, with a colophon. In this undated copy the text is within borders, the other not. Waseda University also has a third, quite different printing but their copy is severely defective and has no title page or colophon. A Japanese translation was made in 1867. Worldcat finds only one copy of this outside Japan.
Fire Safety Poster. 火防 - 秩父消防組 [Hifuse - Chichibu Shobogume]. Chichibu Fire Prevention Publicity Department [192-?]. Colour litho poster 39x27cm. Au$225
A good straightforward illustration of what a carefully applied match can do.
Shogakusei Zenshu. Okano Sakae [cover design]. 算術の話 [Sanjutsu no Hanashi]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1928 [Showa 3]. Octavo, cloth backed publisher's illustrated card wrapper; illustrated title in red, one colour plate and numerous b/w illustrations and diagrams through the text. Some browning and mild signs of use; a remarkably good copy. Shogakusei Zenshu no.73. Au$250
The Shogakusei Zenshu, or Complete Works for Elementary Schools, runs to some 88 volumes of educational texts and literature - much of this in translation; few of them seem elementary. This one is arithmetic. I believe that if my maths texts looked like this my education would have been much more rewarding. This masterpiece of a cover is by Okano Sakae, one of the generation of artists who came through the western painting department of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts at the beginning of the century, later a pupil of Kuroda Seiki, and collaborator with fellow Hakubakai students on the five volume Nihon Meisho Shasei Kiko.
Shogakusei Zenshu. AMUNDSEN, Roald. 極地探検記 [Kyokuchi Tankenki]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1927 [Showa 2]. Octavo, cloth backed publisher's illustrated card wrapper; illustrated title, one colour plate, b/w photo plates and illustrations through the text. Some browning and mild signs of use; a rather good copy. Shogakusei Zenshu no.32. The cover is by Kawabata Ryushi; the colour plate and drawings inside are by Kabashima Katsuichi. Au$90
The Shogakusei Zenshu, or Complete Works for Elementary Schools, runs to some 88 volumes of educational texts and literature - much of this in translation; few of them seem elementary. This one is a translation of Amundsen's polar adventures published only days after his Japan visit. The illustrations are headed by photos of him with local dignitaries and his open letter to the children of Japan.
Shogakusei Zenshu. DEFOE, Daniel. ロビンソン漂流記 [Robinson Hyoryuki]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1927 [Showa 2]. Octavo, cloth backed publisher's illustrated card wrapper; illustrated title, two colour plates, b/w illustrations through the text. Some browning and mild signs of use; a rather good copy. Shogakusei Zenshu no.72. Illustrated by Watanabe Shinya. Au$125
The Shogakusei Zenshu, or Complete Works for Elementary Schools, runs to some 88 volumes of educational texts and literature - much of this in translation; few of them seem elementary. This one is a translation of Robinson Crusoe of course.
Shogakusei Zenshu. 兒童スポーツ [Jido Supotsu]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1927 [Showa 2]. Octavo, cloth backed publisher's illustrated card wrapper; illustrated title, five photo plates, b/w illustrations through the text. Some browning and mild signs of use; a rather good copy. Shogakusei Zenshu no.70. Cover by Kosugi Misei. Au$85
The Shogakusei Zenshu, or Complete Works for Elementary Schools, runs to some 88 volumes of educational texts and literature - much of this in translation; few of them seem elementary. This one is is sports. Kosugi is another of the generation who studied western painting at the beginning of the century, a founder of the Taiheiyogakai, and who, like so many of his contemporaries, returned to Japanese painting.
Shogakusei Zenshu. 児童物理化学物語 [Jido Butsuru Kagaku Monogatari]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1928 [Showa 3]. Octavo, cloth backed publisher's illustrated card wrapper; illustrated title, two colour plates, photo and b/w illustrations through the text. Some browning and mild signs of use; a rather good copy. Shogakusei Zenshu no.61. Cover by Michioka Toshi. Au$90
The Shogakusei Zenshu, or Complete Works for Elementary Schools, runs to some 88 volumes of educational texts and literature - much of this in translation; few of them seem elementary. This one is physics and chemistry.
Shogakusei Zenshu. Maekawa Senpan. 飛行機の話 - 潜水艦の話 [Hikoku no Hanashi - Sensuikan no Hanashi]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1928 [Showa 3]. Octavo, cloth backed publisher's illustrated card wrapper; illustrated title, one colour plate, photo and b/w illustrations. Some browning and mild signs of use; a rather good copy. Shogakusei Zenshu no.80. Cover by Maekawa Senpan. Au$185
The Shogakusei Zenshu, or Complete Works for Elementary Schools, runs to some 88 volumes of educational texts and literature - much of this in translation; few of them seem elementary. This one covers the aeroplane and the submarine. Maekawa started as a cartoonist; a founding member of the Sosaku Hanga movement, like many of his generation, he continued to make his living as a commercial illustrator. Here he outshines many of his most celebrated prints.
Shogakusei Zenshu. 子供生理衛生物語 [Kodomo Seiri Eisei Monogatari]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1928 [Showa 3]. Octavo, cloth backed publisher's illustrated card wrapper; one colour plate, photo and b/w illustrations. Some browning and mild signs of use; a rather good copy. Shogakusei Zenshu no.69. Colour frontispiece by Unno Seiko, other illustrations by Hosokibara Seiki. Au$85
The Shogakusei Zenshu, or Complete Works for Elementary Schools, runs to some 88 volumes of educational texts and literature - much of this in translation; few of them seem elementary. This one covers health. Seiki's illustrations aren't so well printed but they are lively and amusing.
Shogakusei Zenshu. Murayama Tomoyoshi. 音楽の話と唱歌集 [Ongaku no Hanashi to Syokashu]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1927 [Showa 2]. Octavo, cloth backed publisher's illustrated card wrapper; one colour plate, b/w illustrations throughout. Some browning and mild signs of use; a rather good copy. Shogakusei Zenshu no.67. Covers - front and back - by Murayama Tomoyoshi. Au$125
The Shogakusei Zenshu, or Complete Works for Elementary Schools, runs to some 88 volumes of educational texts and literature - much of this in translation; few of them seem elementary. This one covers music. Murayama maybe leads the list of avant-garde heros of interwar Japan. Founder of MAVO and communist troublemaker he had books and plays banned, ended up in prison and produced lively, humourous illustrations for children.
Shogakusei Zenshu. Murayama Tomoyoshi. アラビヤ夜話集 [Arabiya Yawashu]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1928 [Showa 3]. Octavo, cloth backed publisher's illustrated card wrapper; one colour plate, full page b/w illustrations. Some browning and mild signs of use; a rather good copy. Shogakusei Zenshu no.13. Cover, colour plate and illustrations by Murayama Tomoyoshi. Au$195
The Shogakusei Zenshu, or Complete Works for Elementary Schools, runs to some 88 volumes of educational texts and literature - much of this in translation; few of them seem elementary. Here we have some Arabian Nights. Murayama maybe leads the list of avant-garde heros of interwar Japan. Founder of MAVO and communist troublemaker he had books and plays banned, ended up in prison, and produced lively, humourous illustrations for children.
Cars & Planes. 汽車と飛行機 [Kisha to Hikoki]. Osaka, Enomotoshoten 1919 (Taisho 8). 21x15cm publisher's illustrated wrapper; 10pp including cover, colour lithograph illustrations throughout. Natural browning of the cheap paper, an excellent copy. Au$165
Yes, this is called Cars and Planes, or Automobiles and Aeroplanes if you want to be formal, but that train on the cover is too exciting to sulk about. Maybe not the finest printing but these akahons (red books) - cheap and gaudy - do manage to catch the thrill of being alive in a time when everything is new and speedy. This may be a reprint; published a couple of years after the first.
Shinoda Senka & Utagawa Yoshiharu, 明治英名百詠撰 [Meiji Eimei Hyakueisen]. Tokyo, Murakami 1879? 18x12cm publisher's wrapper with title label; one double page and one full page colour woodcut, 120 half page woodcuts on 60 double folded leaves. Two clean tears across the paste down title page without loss, a well read copy but solid and decent enough. The illustrations, not so well printed, are by Utagawa Yoshiharu. Au$100
A popular, poetic, gallery of famous folk of the Meiji period - the first bit of it anyway. There are the expected statesmen and lords but there are also scholars, a handful of women and what look to to be unsavoury reprobates. Perhaps they are great statesmen. I'm equally ignorant about the verse with each portrait. I presume these aren't cheeky limericks or Clerihews.
英和早学字引便覧 English, Japanesh, Small Dictionary; [Eiwa haya-gaku jibiki Binran]. Tokyo, Osaka? 1872 (Meiji 5). 16x6cm publisher's wrapper with title label; illustrated title in English on red paper, 30pp accordian folding, first page printed in blue. Owner's inscriptions on the covers. A pleasing copy, a most pleasing book. Au$300
Perfect for the narrowest pocket, or sleeve maybe. The explanatory Japanese with each of the 509 entries is tiny and clear. Osaka Women's University has a copy and that's all I could find anywhere. The NDL database lists it only on microfilm as part of a collection of English studies titles issued in the seventies.
Sugoroku. 輝く日本双六 [Kagayaku Nihon Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Seugaku Sophomore, Ist January, 1938 (Showa 13). Colour printed broadside 53x79cm, folded as issued. Minor signs of use, one short marginal tear; with the playing pieces intact in the margin. Au$350
The New Year treat from the magazine Seugaku Sophomore (for the second year of primary school) and come 1938 the fun is gone. Our globe trotting young couple from earlier sugoroku look frighteningly serene and the world, and war, and life, is no longer a riotous cartoon. When 'Shining Japan' - Kagayaku Nihon, the name of this game - became a motto for war in Asia I'm not sure. The Shining Japan Exposition - a military display no matter how many white doves fluttered over the battleships - was in 1936 and Japan was long a crusader fighting for Pan-Asian peace, liberated from colonialism. The name surfaces still, used by ultra nationalists in Japan.
Shinoda Senka & Utagawa Yoshiharu, 明治英名百詠撰 [Meiji Eimei Hyakueisen]. Tokyo, Murakami 1879. 18x12cm publisher's wrapper with title label; one double page, one full page colour woodcut, 120 half page woodcuts - all but a couple coloured - on 60 double folded leaves. Inscription on the back cover; a nice copy. The illustrations are by Utagawa Yoshiharu. Au$400
First edition and a deluxe coloured copy of this popular, poetic, gallery of famous folk of the Meiji period - the first bit of it anyway. There are the expected statesmen and lords but there are also scholars, a handful of women and what look to to be unsavoury reprobates. Perhaps they are great statesmen. I'm equally ignorant about the verse with each portrait. I presume these aren't cheeky limericks or Clerihews. I don't know how rare coloured copies are but I haven't found another amongst the recorded copies.
乗物大会 [Norimono Taikai]. Osaka, Enomoto Matsunosuke 1930 (Showa 5). 19x27cm colour illustrated wrapper; 8pp including wrapper, with three double page colour spreads and on the back a cartoon with a character that looks a lot like Uncle Nonto. A used copy, a crease across one page that looks like a production flaw, and still most acceptable. Au$200
Not the finest copy maybe but once I saw the first spread I wasn't going to take a chance on finding one better. The last spread is a cheerful enough procession of royals with cars and horses, the middle is a vivid and pleasing fire engine race and the first is a splendid vision of flying machines over the city. There is a later book with much the same title in the NDL but I can't find another copy of this anywhere.
ニコニコポンチ [Nikonikoponchi]. Osaka, Enomotoshoten 1919 (Taisho 8). 21x14cm publisher's colour litho wrapper; 10pp including wrapper; colour lithograph illustrations throughout. Natural browning of the cheap paper, an excellent copy. Au$80
Short comic strip gags printed in that style that makes you reach for your 3D glasses. Maybe not the finest printing but these akahons (red books) - cheap and gaudy - do manage to catch the thrill of being alive in a time when everything is fun. This may be a reprint; published a couple of years after the first.
電車ト乗物. Densha to Norimono. Osaka, Fujiya 1930 (Sowa 5). 19x26cm colour illustrated wrapper; 12pp including wrapper; full page colour illustrations on each. The last page has cartoon gags. Minor signs of use, an almost splendid copy. Au$300
Once inside the hero of this book is the tram - or streetcar if you prefer. There is a page of ships, a train, lots of cars, barges in the river, but trams throng the streets.