Kanpan - Yochi Shiryaku [A Compilation of Geographical Knowledge].

UCHIDA Inao supervisor (1875].)

£2800.00  [First Edition]

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First edition, first impression. A very good early impression. Volumes 1-9 (of 13, see note). Numerous woodblock maps, plates and illustrations, several engraved plates. Fukuruto-ji. Original covers with printed title-slips, some very occasional minor worming, generally a very good, clean set preserved in modern chitsu. Tokyo, Daigaku Nanko¯ / Monbusho / Shuseikan, Meiji 3-Meiji 8 [i.e. 1870-

Uchida Masao (1838-1876) was born into a samurai family who were Shogunate retainers. He studied Dutch and entered the Naval Training Academy at Nagasaki. In 1862 has was sent to Holland to study and oversee construction of a warship (the Kaiyo-maru) which the Japanese government had ordered to be built at Dordrecht. He acted as a negotiator during the second Japanese embassy to Europe under Ikeda Nagaoki and was involved in the preparation for the Paris World Exposition. In 1866 he returned to Japan on board the Kaiyo-maru together with a large collection of books on geography, history and politics, which formed the basis of the present work. This richly illustrated world geography documents the speed with which Japan accumulated and disseminated knowledge about the outside world. Detailed information is provided on the different physiognomies, costumes and living conditions of the various people. Landscapes and views of important cities give a largely accurate picture of the living standards around the world. The first three volumes deal with the Far East (Japan, China, Central, and South-East Asia), volumes 4-7 with Europe, vols. 8 and 9 with Africa. The information and illustrations are taken from a wide variety of Western sources including Roberts' Holy Land; of particular interest are the varying printing processes involved in this publication, with the occasional use of steel engravings from vol. 4 onwards. It is complete as such, but a further four volumes were written by Nishimura Shigeki (1828-1902) after Uchida's death. It appears that these last four volumes were not issued separately but that a new publisher (Shuseikan who had already published vol. 9) reprinted the entire work. Uncommon. 

Stock Code: 189204

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