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OKAMOTO, K.S. [Konseki].


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From: Richard Neylon (St Marys, TAS, Australia)

Seller Rating: 4-star rating

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Item Description: Book Condition: very good. 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. 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. Bookseller Inventory # 9675

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Price: US$ 940.00
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Item Description: Tokyo 1885, Morito. Stitched Japanese style binding, [125]p. double folded leaves, profusely illustrated with many color woodblocks, English text, 15 x 23 cm., very good,minor cover wear contents clean. Q U I T E S C A R C E A marvelous dictionary of things Japanese from 1885, also a language dictionary, showing both English and Japanese words for articles illustrated. Superb color woodblock illustrat- ions by the celebrated Chikanobu.The table of contents lists the subjects as: the figure of female hair; common trade marks; Japanese hat and cap; Hair-tool of women; Hair-pins & combs; Japanese female clothing; The amusements of children; The words of children; Exhibitions for money; The kind of beggar; The celebrated articles and food in Tokio; The names of cake. The coiffeur section shows 60 different styles. About 176 trademarks, 94 hats, 12 hair tools, 23 hair pins, 18 combs, 24 different kinds of clothing & Kimono, 36 pict- tures of boys amusements; 16 for girls, 60 for both boys and girls. Some 32 Japanese exhibitions or entertainments, pass- times, 48 beggars. Each of the pictures show the Japanese word in Romaji, Kanji or Kana, with the English translation, thus making this useful to both English and Japanese native speakers. A very good illustrated dictionary and reference tool. A whole array of fascinating objects from mid-19th century Meiji Japanese life. A color scan can be sent by e-mail. A L W A Y S R A R E. Bookseller Inventory # 84107002

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