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Hanai Oume. Shuyotei Sofu. - [Hanai Oume Suigetsu Kibun].

Tokyo, Mori Senkichi 1888 (Meiji 21). 18x13cm, publisher's cloth backed illustrated boards; one double page and two full page illustrations; 72pp. The cheap paper browned; a rather good copy of a book made to be read to death. ¶ 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. Hanai earned her place as one on the trinity of great dokufu for the murder of her employee for helping her sponging father muscle her out of her business - the teahouse Suigetsu. The famous umbrella was part of her defence. Of course nothing about cheap popular trash like this is going to be straightforward. The Strange Story of Hanai Oume at Suigetsu was first published in December 1887, just after her murder trial in November, and apparently exists in two volumes. As the the first volume contains 44 pages and the second seems to bring the total up to about 90 I suspect that a flimsy supplement was issued to the flimsy original. Our edition appeared in December 1888 and who knows how many came in between, I can't find a record of any of them including this printing.
AUD 250.00 [Appr.: EURO 152 US$ 160.77 | £UK 132 | JP¥ 24015] Book number 10779

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