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Yanagawa Shunsan. - [Seiyo Tokei Benran].

Tokyo, Yamatoya Kihee 1872 [Meiji 5]. 185x80mm publisher's stiff wrapper with title label (marked), accordian folding to form 34pp with woodblock illustrations throughout. Rather good. ¶ An introduction to the western watch and its workings and - more important - western time and how to tell it. Roman numerals and the hour, minute and seconds hands are explained and a series of watch faces guide us through the rest of the intricacies of measuring time in the western style. Obviously for the sleeve or pocket, this could be hauled out with the new gizmo when its fledgling owner was stumped. Or even by a non-watch owner faced with a public clock. At the end the thermometer is illustrated and explained too. This is not to say that the Japanese hadn't already mastered the clock. Since the Jesuits introduced clocks in the 16th century Japanese clockmakers had developed complex weight and spring driven mechanisms to run timekeepers according to the unequal hours of day and night, varying according to season. But in 1872 the government switched from the lunar calendar to the solar calendar and abolished traditional timekeeping and a whole nation had to start again from scratch. Makes sense to me that daylight hours are longer and night hours shorter in summer and the reverse in winter. We all know that despite what the clock says all hours are not created equal. Bring back traditional Japanese timekeeping I say.
AUD 500.00 [Appr.: EURO 322.5 US$ 339.85 | £UK 276.5 | JP¥ 45646] Book number 10939

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