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Jonathan Swift, Katayama Heisaburo and Okube Tsunekichi. - [Garibarusu Shimameguri] and [Daijinkoku Ryoko : Nan'yo Hyoryu].

Tokyo, Inada Sahei & Shinkodo 1887 (Meiji 20). Two volumes, 19x13cm publisher's cloth backed illustrated boards; (a) seven lithograph plates. Minor signs of use, rather good. (b) four lithograph plates, one double page, one folding. Some nibbling from the paper on the front, no paper at all on the back. Still a remarkably good copy of a flimsy book made to be read to pieces. ¶ Second edition of the first book, first edition of the second. Gulliver's Travels, or the important bits of it. The adventures in Lilliput appeared in a Japanese version in 1880 with the vague promise of the next part. The second, the Brobdingnagian, came from a different translater in 1887, some six or seven months after the second edition of the first book. I don't think anything like a complete Gulliver appeared for a fair while after that, so the Japanese audience had to wait to read about Gulliver's trip to Japan. Which is usually a good thing. What Australian wants to watch the Simpson's Australian episode? The illustrations to the Lilliputian adventures are copied from Thomas Morten's which first appeared in a Cassell edition in 1866 but though Morten provided heaps of models the Brobdingnagian illustrator went elsewhere. Where I'm not sure. I'd say the continent but I'm pretty sure these are not Grandville's, nor Gavarni's, nor Poirson's. The Japanese artist/lithographer is pretty good though. Koon-ki Ho's 1991 essay on the utopian tradition in Japan (Japanese in Search of Happiness) suggests that Swift's "portrayal of the moral Brobdingnagians was influenced by the reports of China and Chinese available." and Yoko Inagi's 2014 well meaning if over egged thesis (The Evolution of Japanese Utopianism and How Akutagawa’s Dystopian Novella, Kappa ...) makes the point that Gulliver's Travels along with More's Utopia began life in Japan as political novels rather than fantastic adventures or satires. Gulliver followed much the same arc in Japan as it had in the west and by the 1920s was a children's book. These are 'ball cover' (boru hyoshi, apparently a corruption of 'board') books - a signal of modernity and the Japanese equivalent of a yellowback: flimsy western style bindings with lithograph covers that rarely survive in such good shape. I traced no copies of either edition of the first part outside Japan and one copy of the second part: UC Berkeley.
AUD 3200.00 [Appr.: EURO 2063.75 US$ 2175.06 | £UK 1769.5 | JP¥ 292137] Book number 10952

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