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New of Pom and Song The English and Japanese. 英和対訳新体運動歌 [Eiwa Taiyaku Shintai Undoka]. Tokyo, 1887 [Meiji 20]. Small octavo publisher's illustrated wrapper; [2],32,[2]pp. A bit used, rather good copy for such a vulnerable thing. A christmas gift inscription on the front to 'Father' dated Dec 16, 1887. Au$1200

A pioneering Japanese foray into English poetry and poetry in English which I can't find anywhere but the National Diet Library. Elsewhere I found two references to this. One is Basil Chamberlain's 'Things Japanese', the other 'Japan for a Week' by Alexander M. Thompson who clearly never saw this booklet but, misreading Chamberlain, requotes a poem from 'Things Japanese' which isn't in this. Chamberlain, in the chapter 'English as She is Japped' quotes two poems without explicitly stating they are from this; they aren't. Did he see the book? What is here is a mix of what seem to be poems by English and Japanese writers, things that are more aphorisms and morals than poems and an intriguing excerpt from Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade. This isn't a production for western tourists or export of the pretty sort that became popular through the 1890's. This is a modest first step of the Japanese setting out - as they did with all things western - to learn, encompass and digest a new form.


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Hashizume Kan'ichi. 世界商売往来補遺 [Sekai Shobai Orai Hoi]. Tokyo 1873 [Meiji 6]. 180x120mm publisher's wrapper, missing the title label; 23 double folded leaves; one double page and numerous small illustrations throughout. A rather good copy. Au$275

Hashizume made a specialty of handbooks and vocabularies introducing the Japanese to the notion of international trade trade and western languages in the early Meiji period. In 1871 he published a handy Japanese-English vocabulary of world trade for Japanese merchants dealing with westerners and in 1873 followed up with two companion works. This one, as I understand it, concentrates on sales.


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Hashizume Kan'ichi. 世界商売往来 [Sekai Shobai Orai - literally World Trade Traffic]. Tokyo 1873 [Meiji 6]. 180x120mm publisher's wrapper (title label gone, titled in manuscript on the front cover); 26 double folded leaves; one full page and numerous small illustrations throughout. Au$325

Second edition? - first published in 1871 - of this handy bilingual vocabulary of world trade giving the English, with Japanese explanations, of a wide range of terms, place names, goods, and so on. Hashizume, who specialised in handbooks on trade and on foreign languages, produced, I think, three of these guides for merchants with similar titles. This is the first and the next two supplement this.


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Hashizume Kan'ichi. 世界商売往来 [Sekai Shobai Orai - literally World Trade Traffic]. Tokyo 1871? 180x120mm publisher's wrapper (title label with a small chip); 26 double folded leaves; one full page colour and numerous small colour illustrations throughout, a half-page plain illustration inside the front cover. Clearly a read copy, with some small blotches and smudges but still rather good. Au$750

First edition it seems of this delightful and handy bilingual vocabulary of world trade giving the English, with Japanese explanations, of a wide range of terms, place names, goods, and so on. I've seen a couple of copies of the second edition, 1873, not in colour. Neither can I find a record of a colour copy of any edition. Waseda University illustrates a copy of the 1871 edition with the half page illustration inside the front cover in colour but not anything else. Clearly even workaday Japanese books like this can be intricate enough to please any French bibliophile. Hashizume, who specialised in handbooks on trade and on foreign languages, produced, I think, three of these guides for merchants with similar titles. This is the first and the next two supplement this.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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Hashizume Kan'ichi. 続々世界商売往来 [Zokuzoku Sekai Shobai Orai]. Tokyo 1873? 180x120mm publisher's wrapper with title label (a bit used); 26 double folded leaves; one double page illustration and several small illustrations through the text, title page framed in a blue barrel. A nice copy. Au$350

First edition? of this handy bilingual vocabulary of world trade giving the English, with Japanese explanations, of a wide range of terms, quantities, goods, professions, and so on. Hashizume, who specialised in handbooks on trade and on foreign languages, produced, I think, maybe four of these guides for merchants with similar titles; the first in 1871 following it up with at least two more in 1873. There are more than three but the variants in copies ostensibly of the same book make it all a bit confusing. Curious about this one is that the English text has been cut in wood, it isn't type. There are several endearing spelling mistakes, mishapen or reversed letters and odd truncations but more puzzling than these are some of the chosen terms for Japanese traders to learn. Sublemate of mercary [sic] makes some sense, as do gloziers, hornessmakers and portruit-painters - but how often did anyone have to discuss velocipedes and grave-diggers?


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Hashizume Kan'ichi. 續編世界商賣往來 [Zokuhen Sekai Shobai Orai]. Tokyo, Gankinya Seikichi 1872 (Meiji 5). 180x120mm publisher's wrapper without title label (cover marked); 26 double folded leaves; one double page illustration and several small illustrations through the text, title page framed in blue Fairbanks standing scales. Mildly used. Au$350

First edition I think of this handy bilingual vocabulary of world trade giving the English, with Japanese explanations, of a wide range of terms, quantities, goods, professions, and so on. I used to think the bibliography of Hashizume's handbooks on foreign trade was straightforward - three, the first in 1871 following it up with two more in 1873. Since then I've discovered variants and variants of variants. This book isn't 'Zokuzoku Sekai Shobai Orai' as I first thought. The contents are completely different. Zokuzoku begins with foreign measures of quantity, this begins with foreign currencies. Like that the English text has been cut in wood, it isn't type. There are some endearing spelling mistakes, mishapen or reversed letters and odd truncations - fewer than in the later book - but more puzzling than these are some of the chosen terms for Japanese traders to learn. The tools of trade for printers and binders are included, which makes sense - as do fruit and vegetables - but how many merchants dealt in camels and leopards?


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Heidosai Shujin & Ryuu Joshi. 世界一覧 [Sekai Ichiran]. Tokyo, Izumiya Ichibee 1872 [Meiji 5]. Two volumes 235x155mm, publisher's wrappers with title labels (a label apparently removed from the bottom of the first wrapper); 48;52pp on double folded leaves and a double page colour world map, smaller woodcut maps and illustrations throughout. A rather good pair. Au$850

A beguiling book, both as a digest of the world and as an essay in digesting exotic western typefaces and scripts; in digesting all things western really, from language to image. Curious that by 1872 Japan had plenty of pictures of the outside world to study and while the maps seem pretty accurate the views are still like imaginings worked up from descriptions. The pyramids seem to be in a jungle - perhaps the artist couldn't imagine desert and thought his model incomplete - and poor Paris, without an Eiffel Tower to centre on, is just a railway works yard. Is the text an adaptation from Chinese? I can't find any such reference and I can't find another copy of this outside the National Diet Library.


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Hashizume Kan'ichi. 続々世界商売往来 [Zokuzoku Sekai Shobai Orai]. Tokyo 1873? 180x120mm publisher's wrapper with title label (a bit used); 26 double folded leaves; one double page illustration and several small illustrations through the text, title page framed in a blue barrel. A nice copy. Au$350

First edition? of this handy bilingual vocabulary of world trade giving the English, with Japanese explanations, of a wide range of terms, quantities, goods, professions, and so on. Hashizume, who specialised in handbooks on trade and on foreign languages, produced, I think, maybe four of these guides for merchants with similar titles; the first in 1871 following it up with at least two more in 1873. There are more than three but the variants in copies ostensibly of the same book make it all a bit confusing. Curious about this one is that the English text has been cut in wood, it isn't type. There are several endearing spelling mistakes, mishapen or reversed letters and odd truncations but more puzzling than these are some of the chosen terms for Japanese traders to learn. Sublemate of mercary [sic] makes some sense, as do gloziers, hornessmakers and portruit-painters - but how often did anyone have to discuss velocipedes and grave-diggers?


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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.


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Hashizume Kan'ichi. 世界商売往来 [Sekai Shobai Orai - literally World Trade Traffic]. Tokyo, Seikichi 1871 [Meiji 4]. 180x120mm publisher's wrapper (a bit rumpled); 26 double folded leaves; one full page and numerous small illustrations throughout. Title page on yellow with a man operating some mysterious, to me, mechanism. Au$385

First edition of this handy bilingual vocabulary of world trade giving the English, with Japanese explanations, of a wide range of terms, quantities, goods, professions, and so on. I used to think the bibliography of Hashizume's handbooks on foreign trade was straightforward: three, this, the first in 1871 following it up with two more in 1873. Since then I've discovered variants and variants of variants. There are some of the expected amusing errors in spelling and typography but far fewer than in the later books.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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Hashizume Kan'ichi. 大日本國盡 英字三體 [Dai Nihon Kunizukushi - Eiji Santai]. Tokyo, Wan'ya Keihe 1871 [Meiji 4]. 18x13cm publisher's wrapper (a bit used, label missing); 36pp on 18 double folded leaves; opening right to left. Au$300

A writing guide teaching how to read and write the English alphabet in its three guises but not in English. One of the earlier attempts at formulating what is now Romaji; Hashizume here standardizes Japanese place names into phonetic transliteration. 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. Worldcat finds a couple of copies in Japan, none outside.


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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); [10],173,[1],[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.


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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); [72]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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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