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Jonathan Swift & Katayama Heisaburo. - [Garibarusu Shimameguri].

Tokyo, Inada Sahei 1887 (Meiji 20). 19x13cm publisher's cloth backed illustrated boards; seven lithograph plates. A dash of each of the many flaws these flimsy books are liable to: some insect nibbling of the spine and back cover, browning of the paper, a few leaves a bit proud of the front edge (not a sprung signature since these books don't have signatures). The inner front hinge was taped at sometime but it's not clear why: it hasn't separated. Not a great copy but by no means a bad copy, not even an average copy of one of these board books. ¶ Second edition of the first translation of Gulliver's Travels, or the important bit of it. These 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 this 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 decades to read about Gulliver's trip to Japan. The illustrations here are copied from Thomas Morten's which first appeared in a Cassell edition in 1866. 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. This is a 'ball cover' (boru hyoshi, apparently a corruption of 'board') book - 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 this outside Japan.
AUD 750.00 [Appr.: EURO 479.75 US$ 519.06 | £UK 430.75 | JP¥ 68092] Book number 10976

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