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[BRIDGMAN, Elijah Coleman.] Mitsukuri Genpo. - [Renpo Shiryaku].

Tokyo, Rokyukan 1864 (Genji 1). Two volumes 26x18cm publisher's embossed yellow wrappers with printed labels (front cover of the first volume marked or dusty, the label incomplete); 56 & 48 leaves (ie 208pp in all); five full page maps with colour and a fair quantity of small maps, some with colours; woodcut illustrations. A rather good copy, quite fresh inside. ¶ First edition of the adaptation by Mitsukuri Genpo of the American missionary Bridgman's Da Mei lian bang zhi lue published in Shanghai in 1861 or 62; this was reprinted in 1871. The Shanghai version has been wrongly claimed as the first account of the United States in Chinese - but it's sort of true as it is a revision of Meilige heshengguo zhilue published by Bridgman in Singapore in 1838. For the Japanese this is their first thorough and ostensibly trustworthy account, written as it is by an actual American. I should make it clear that this is an account of the United States, not of the Americas. The first volume is general, covering history, government, education, culture ... and the second volume zooms in on individual states illustrated by a number of small local maps. It is the first account of American democratic government for the Japanese. I can't tell you how Mitsukuri dealt with Bridgman's reformist proselytising but anything produced by Mitsukuri carried a lot of weight. A physician by early training he was a scholar of the west and pioneered the introduction of western science, medicine and technology (like the first description of a steam engine) into Japan, usually via the Dutch or Chinese, and served as translator for the Perry mission in 1853.
AUD 1500.00 [Appr.: EURO 904.75 US$ 946.89 | £UK 785 | JP¥ 141926] Book number 10530

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