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Mill, John Stuart and Nakamura Masanao. - [Jiyu no Ri or Jiyuno Kotowari depending on the transcriber]. On Liberty.

Shizuoka, Kihira Ken'ichiro [1872]. Five volumes in six books 23x16cm, publisher's yellow wrappers with title labels. Preface in English signed EWC, this was Edward Warren Clark who taught science in Shizuoka and, later, Tokyo. A square red stamp in the top corner of the first page of each volume with faint signs of characters, no other signs of ownership. A rather good set. ¶ The first Japanese edition of Mill's On Liberty - a book that Douglas Howland (in Personal Liberty and Public Good) tells us was "reportedly read by the entire generation of educated Japanese who came of age during the restoration". I hoped to be able to nail down any issue points and clear up any confusion between the two forms this book takes: the five volumes bound as six books, as here, with volume two divided into two; or bound as five books. The confusion is heightened because many libraries and cataloguers use the 1871 date on the title, ignoring the preface dated January 1872. I thought that a sort of colophon for Dojinsha - Nakamura's school - pasted inside the last back cover might help, but that leaf appears in both versions. Only the cover labels seem to be different. I've found nothing in any language that examines the printing history and while the rule of thumb - everywhere in the world - is that the more costly version - in materials and time - usually came first, I've had to conclude that there isn't any discernible priority and the difference may well be where, rather than when, the books were bound. Nakamura's translation of Smile's 'Self Help' was also published by Kihira in Shizuoka and it seems that Kihira Ken'ichiro existed as a publisher only for Nakamura's translations of these two books which he made in Shizuoka - home of the deposed Tokugawa shogun - where he taught after his return from England in 1868 until 1872. In other words, Nakamura was really the publisher of both books. Worldcat finds five, maybe six, locations outside of Japan - one in Britain, the rest in the US - all but one are catalogued as 1871.
AUD 1500.00 [Appr.: EURO 920.75 US$ 991.75 | £UK 791.25 | JP¥ 137741] Book number 11011

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