SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

If you would like to get in touch, please feel free to contact:

Short Biographies of Eminenisic Japanese in Ancient and Modern Times each with a Characteristic Illustration.

Tokyo, Kyushundo, 1890.
Not found in Wenckstern's Bibliography of the Japanese Empire
Tokyo, Kyushundo, 1890.

8vo. 2 vols. Original wrappers, string ties, printed title labels to upper wrappers; both vols. pp. [ii English text including an Advertisement"] + [40] + [ii Japanese text]; both vols. 10 double-page hand-coloured wood-engraved portraits with ownership inscriptions to the wrappers in Chinese calligraphy of Chiang Yee who wrote travel books as "The Silent Traveller"; slight soiling to wrappers else a near-fine copy. Housed within a green cloth purpose built 'Solander box' with burgundy title label with gilt lettering to spine. FIRST EDITION. Both volumes have the same advertisement stating that "this is the second volume of a run of 10 which would complement another 10-volume series entitled "The Pictorial Descriptions of a Hundred Famous Places of Japan". However, the text and the illustrations in each volume are different. We have been able to trace only the first volume of the "Eminent Japanese" series in other libraries (Yale and the British Library) and have been unable to tell whether the series was ever completed - which makes this set extremely unusual and interesting. The biography for each person covers 2 leaves of text before and after the illustration for that person. The illustrations themselves each signed by the Japanese artist offer "Characteristic" portrayals by setting the person within a scene of importance in their life. The subjects in the first volume comprise The Emperor Nintoku Prince Shotoku Sugawara no Michizane Taira no Masakado Minamoto no Yoritomo Madenokoji Fujifusa Aoto Fujitsuna Murasaki Shikibu Iwakura Tomomi and Yui no Shosetsu. The second volume describes Yamatotake no Mikoto Jingu Kogu Takenouchi no Sukune Wage no Kiyomaro Minamoto no Yoshie Taira no Shigemori Hojo Tokimune Kusunoki Masashige Kato Kiyamasa and Saigo Takamori. Coloured plates in order: Volume 1. 1. Emperor Nintoku. 2. Prince Uwayado. 3. Sugawara no Michizane. 4. Tairano Masakado. 5. Minamoto no Yoritomo. 6. Madenokoji Fujifusa. 7. Aoto Fujitsuna. 8. Murasaki Shikibu. 9. Iwakura (Minister). 10. Yuishosetsu. Volume 2. 11. Yamatota Kenomikoto. 12. Jingu Kogu. 13. Takenouchi no Sukune. 14. Wage no Kiyomaro. 15. Minamoto no Yoshiie. 16. Taira no Shigemori. 17. Hojo Tokimune. 18. Kusunoki Masashige. 19. Kato Kiyomasa. 20. Saigo Takamori.