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Suzuki Kinjiro. - [Shinpen Meiji Dokufuden].

Tokyo, Kinsendo 1887 [Meiji 20]. 18x13cm publisher's cloth backed illustrated boards (edges worn); one single page and several double page illustrations. Inner front hinge separated, inner back hinge cracked; maybe missing the front endpaper and the first two leaves (illustrations) are creased; two leaves sprung. A read copy I'm sorry to say, but for one of these flimsy board books made to be read to pieces, still acceptable. ¶ Second edition? But how many were there? First published in December 1886 this copy is dated November 1887 but is a different book from the copy of the same date illustrated by the NDL. Starting at the front: the cover has been redrawn, the contents are a different printing with different pagination, in a different order and the illustrations are not all the same. The pagination is a nightmare; it starts, stops, jumps forward and back and nowhere meets the NDL November 1887 copy until we get to the last page. One the prizes of the dokufu craze of the early Meiji. Dofuku - poisonous women - are nothing new of course but the happy conjunction at the advent of mass circulation newspapers of a beautifully timed series of murders by unvirtuous young women set the sensation mongers and their readers all of a fever. Newspaper to book, lurid print to kabuki and back again, dokufu were all the rage for a couple of decades. Along the way crime fiction was born and, in a way, modern Japanese literature. This went to press too soon for Hanai Oume - 1887's murderess of choice - but I don't doubt her case sparked this new edition; she was sentenced in November. Takahashi Oden, Yoarashi Okinu, Torioi Omatsu, Gonsai Otatsu, Ibaraki Otaki and Raijin Oshin provide plenty to go on with. Worldcat finds no copies of any but a modern reprint outside the NDL and it was some consolation to see that this copy is a lot better than one reproduced online by the NDL.
AUD 150.00 [Appr.: EURO 91.25 US$ 96.57 | £UK 79.25 | JP¥ 14424] Book number 10764

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