The Far East
New Series, Volume 1
July 1876 - December 1876



Black, John Reddie:
The Far East: Monthly Journal, Illustrated with Photographs New Series, Volume 1 (Jul 1876 - Dec 1876), Shanghai, "Printed for the Proprietor, at the Far East Printing Office, 18 Nanking Road," Published Simultaneously in Tokio, Japan; Shanghai, China; and Hongkong, 4to (8 5/8 x 10 7/8 in - 22 x 27 cm), red cloth with gilt decoration and lettering on front and spine, 6 monthly issues bound into a book, two page introduction (i-ii), 37 pages of plates with 42 sepia tone albumen photographs tipped in, 152 numbered pages of text.

The journals are printed on high quality medium thickness paper. The text is in double column format printed front and back. The albumen photographs are tipped to plate on one side only and the plate contains a frame line or decorative border and descriptive title. Each photograph is accompanied by a text explanation of the significance of the image. In the earlier first series (1870-1875) smaller photographs are sometimes found tipped onto the text pages. You do not see this in this volume. All photographs are tipped to separate pages. The table of contents of the book is presented below. However, the published contents listing is far from comprehensive.

A sample illustrated article titled Samuel Wells Williams in the December, 1876 issue is posted here.

During the years from 1870-1875, The Far East was published in Japan. Primarily because of Japanese censorship laws, Black relocated to Shanghai. This volume (New Series, Volume 1) contains the first issue of the periodical printed outside of Japan. While printed in Shanghai, it purports to be "Published Simultaneously in Tokio, Japan; Shanghai, China; and Hongkong." The first series dealt primarily with Japan. Regarding the New Series, Black states in the introduction:

In the future it will deal fully as much with Chinese as with Japanese subjects. The present number, he has brought out with photographs of Chinese subjects only; for he has not had time to get any from Japan; being anxious to have no delay in commencing the year punctually. (Introduction, page ii)

The first issue in the volume contains no photographs relating to Japan. Subsequent issues generally contain one or more Japan related pictures. The focus of all 6 issues in this volume is China. However, there is a serial article "A Legend of the House of Sendai (from Japanese Records)" which is each of the 6 issues. In addition, each volume contains a final section called "The Period - Jottings of the Month from Local Papers" and here Black relates current events from Japan as well as from throughout the Far East.

General Contents of Volume 1:

  • Title Page.

  • Table of Contents (1 page).

  • List of Illustrations (1 page).

  • Introduction (pages i-ii; 2 pages).

  • Six Monthly Journals (July 1876 - December 1876) with text pages numbered sequentially (1-152).

  • 42 black and white (sepia tone) albumen photographs tipped to 37 plates. The plates are not numbered or included in the total of 152 pages of text.

Title Page.

Table of Contents (Click Here to See Pic).

Introduction, page i.
Introduction, page ii.

Table of Contents (Click Here to See Pic)


SHANGHAI CITY. .............................................    8
A LEGEND OF THE HOUSE OP SENDAI (from Japanese Records) ....    17,41,69,86,
   Jottings of the Month, from the Local Papers ............    23,49
THE STORY OP TIT CHEONG YOK (from the Chinese)..............    29
SIR THOMAS F. WADE, K.C.B.  ................................    37
THE STORY OF MOW YING (from the Chinese)   .................    53,81
THE YELLOW STORK TOWER (a Drama)   .........................    57
   No. 1. Marriage Ceremonies of the Chinese at Macao ......    67
   No. 2. Ceremonies observed on the occasion of Deaths 
          and Funerals......................................    77 
   No. 3. Various Superstitions.............................    103
   No. 4. Processions ......................................    105
   No. 5. Feasts and Festivals   ...........................    129
CHINESE THEATRICALS ........................................    90
   No. 1. The Kagiya .......................................    97
MR. ROBERT HART, Inspector-General of Customs, China........    98
SUPPLEMENTARY NOTE ON LI HUNG-CHANG.........................    99
A PERSONAL NARRATIVE .......................................    107
THE STORY OF PUK YOE-SHONG (from the Chinese)   ............    116,132
HIS EXCELLENCY JUJOI MOBI ARINOBI, Japanese Minister to China.  119
SAMUEL WELLS "WILLIAMS, L.L.D.   ...........................    140
LYDIA MARY FAY        ......................................    142
   Dame Kuo's Visit to Hsi-ting Fair........................    15
   Don't marry a Widow .....................................    34
   Inverted Facts (from the Chinese) .......................    123

[Top title as described in the "The Illustrations"
Bottom title as actually printed on the plate
Orientation of the plate and size in cm]

Chinese Tea-house, Shanghai City (after page 4)

"Hu-Sing Ting -- Chinese Tea-House, Shanghai City."
Horizontal - 19 x 13.3 cm

Garden near the Ch'en Hwang Temple (after page 9)

"Che'en Hwang Meaou Hwa-Yuen. -- Garden Near the
Ch'en Hwang Temple --- Shanghai City."
Horizontal - 20 x 13.4 cm

The Chinese Wheelbarrow (after page 12)

"Ch'e Tsze -- Chinese Wheelbarrow Conveyances."
Horizontal - 20 x 13.6 cm

A Shanghai Merchant's Wife (after page 16)

"Merchant's Wife, Shanghai"
Vertical - 19.8 x 13.3 cm

Itinerant Cobbler (after page 20)

"Pu-Heai Lao -- Itinerant Cobbler, Jung Kai Tu"
Vertical - 17 x 13 cm

Wicker Work and Matting Shop (after page 24)

"T'Eng-Yi Teen -- Basket-Chair and Matting-Shop,
Shanghai Foreign Settlement"
Horizontal - 20 x 13.6 cm

The River Front, Shanghai (after page 34)

"The River Front, Shanghai: Looking South;
From the P. & O. S. N. Co's Landing Stage"
Horizontal - 19.8 x 13.5 cm

Chinese Military Officer (after page 38)

"Hu-Jun-Chih Tsang-Chiang -- A Chinese Colonel of Infantry"
Vertical - 19.9 x 13.5 cm

Yu-lu, Lieut.-Governor of Nankin (after page 42)

"Yu-Lu -- Lieut. - Governor of Nankin"
Vertical - 19.9 x 13.5 cm

Woodcut text illustration on page 45

Coolies waiting for Employment (after page 46)

"Collies Waiting for Employment "
Horizontal - 19.8 x 13.4 cm

Chinese Shops (after page 50)

"Chinese Shops"
Horizontal - 19.8 x 13.5 cm

His Excellency Sir Thomas F. Wade, K.C.B. (after page 30)

"Sir Thomas Francis Wade, K. C. B., H.B.M.s
Envoy and Minister Plenipotentiary to China"
Vertical - 13.1 x 9.6 cm

The Oriental Bank and Central Hotel, on the Bund, Shanghai (after page 54)

"The Oriental Bank and Central Hotel,
on the Bund Shanghai"
Horizontal - 18.9 x 13.3 cm

Group of Chinese Actors (after page 58)

"Group of Chinese Actors" (left - "Chao Tzu-Lung",
middle - "Emperor Liu-Pai," right "Kung-Ming"
Horizontal - 19.6 x 13.5 cm

The Garden of the Old American Legation, Yedo (after page 62)
Group in the U. S. Legation Garden (after page 62)

Left "Garden at the Old American Legation, Yedo"
Right " Group in the Garden of the Old American Legation, Yedo
Horizontal - both photographs are 8.1 x 8.3 cm

[See Old Japan, Catalogue 30, (Nov 2002) item 95,
"...taken during August 1866 - November 1869 when
Robert Bruce Van Valkenburgh was serving as the United
States Minister to Japan."]

A Chinese Bride and Bridegroom (after page 66)

"A Chinese Bride and Bridegroom"
Vertical - 18.2 x 13.5 cm

The Japanese Kago (Cango) (after page 70)
Temple Porch, Nagasaki (after page 70)

Left "Temple Porch, Nagasaki"
Right "Japanese Kago (Cango)"
Horizontal - both photographs are 8.1 x 8.3 cm

His Excellency Li Hung-chang (after page 74)

"His Excellency Li Hung-Chang, Grand Secretary
of State, Viceroy of Chihli &c., &c."
Vertical - 19.8 x 16.2 cm
Etched at the right middle edge is "L.F. Fis... Photo..187."

Group of Figures at the Annual Celebration of the
Worship of the Dead (after page 78)

"Group of Figures at the Annual Celebration of
Worship of the Dead"
Horizontal - 18.9 x 13.2 cm

Group of Figures at the Annual Celebration of the
Worship of the Dead (after page 82)

"Group of Figures at the Annual Celebration of
Worship of the Dead"
Horizontal - 18.8 x 13.5 cm

Altar at the Ceremonial of the Worship of the Dead
(after page 86)

"Altar at the Ceremonial of the Wroship of the Dead"
Horizontal - 18.6 x 13.1 cm

The Mikado and Empress of Japan (after page 90)

Left "H.J.M. The Empress of Japan"
Right "H.J.M The Mikado"
Horizontal - both photographs are 8.1 x 10.8 cm
For more information on these images, click here.

Stage of the Peking Theatre, Canton Road (after page 94)

"Group of Figures at the Annual Celebration of
Worship of the Dead"
Horizontal - 18.8 x 13.4 cm

Mr. Robert Hart, Inspector-General of Customs, China
(after page 98)

"Robert Hart, Inspector General of Customs, China"
Vertical - 12.9 x 9.7 cm

The large Idol of Daibutsz (after page 104)
Japanese Buddhist Priests (after page 104)

Left "Group of Japanese Priests"
Right "The Great Bronze Idol, Daibutsz"
Horizontal - both photographs are 8.4 x 7.8 cm

The Mound, Soochow Creek (after page 108)

"The Winning Post, at the Mound, Soochow Creek
Shanghai Autumn Regatta" Horizontal - 19.9 x 13.4 cm

Up the Northern River (after page 112)

"On the Northern River (Soochow Creek)" Horizontal - 20.2 x 13.3 cm

The Cangue (after page 116)

"The Punishment by the Cangue, Hongkew Police Station"
Horizontal - 19.9 x 13.5 cm

His Excellency Jujoi Mori Arinori, Japanese
Minister to China (after page 120)

"H. E. Jujoi Arinori, Mori, Japanese Ambassador to China"
Vertical - 13.9 x 9.6 cm

Female Labourers in the Field (after page 124)
Japanese Tea-house Hostess and Attendant (after page 124)

Left "Female Field-Labourers, Japan"
Right "Japanese Tea-House Hostess and Attendant"
Horizontal - both photographs are 8.4 x 7.8 cm

The Landing Place at Hu Chu, Pagoda Hill;
near Soochow (after page 130)

"The Landing Place at Hu Chu, Pagoda Hill; Near Soochow" Vertical - 18.9 x 12.4 cm

Two Views in the Grounds of O Hama Go Ten,
Tokio, Japan (after page 134)

"Two Views in the Grounds of O Hama Go Ten, Tokio, Japan"
Horizontal - both photographs are 8.6 x 7.7 cm

Samuel Wells Williams, L.L.D. (after page 138)

"Samuel Wells Williams L.L.D." Vertical - 12.9 x 9.2 cm

Miss Lydia Mary Fay (after page 142)

"Lydia Mary Fay" Vertical - 13 x 9.5 cm

Sho-ro-do, or Drum Tower (after page 146)
Approach to a Temple, Tokio (after page 146)

Left "Sho-ro-do, or Drum Tower"
Right "Approach to a Temple, Tokio
Horizontal - both photographs are 8.5 x 7.8 cm

[See Old Japan, Catalogue 30, (Nov 2002) item 95,
The image at the right is identified as Zenpukuji Temple which
housed the US Legation in Tokyo. See two other related
images above.]

The Crew and Deck of H, M, S, "Newcastle," at Woosung
(after page 150)

"The Crew and Deck of H.M.S "Newcastle," at Woosung" Horizontal - 20 x 12.6 cm

Summary of Plates/Photographs

   China Related Albumen Photographs (tipped in)
29 photographs on 29 plates
   23 plates with large size (ca 5 1/4 x 7 3/4 in) photographs
    6 plates with medium size (ca 3 1/2 x 3 3/4 in) photographs

   Japan Related Albumen Photographs (tipped in)
13 photographs on 7 plates 
   6 plates w/ 2 small photographs each (ca 3 x 3 1/2 in)
   1 plate with 1 small (ca 3 x 4 in) photograph

42 albumen photographs tipped onto 35 plates.


Images of the Meiji Emperor and Empress in the plate after page 90.
I believe that the images of the Emperor and Empress in this book were taken by Kuichi Uchida and represent very early and scarce photographic images. Kuichi Uchida (1844-1875) was the first photographer allowed to photograph the Meiji Emperor and Empress. These were considered "Official" photographs. He took these photographs in the 1871~1873 period. While I have not been able to confirm the assertion, it has been stated that these images saw very restricted distribution because of a general prohibition against viewing the Emperor's face. It is established that in 1874, the mayor of Tokyo Prefecture issued an ordinance which prohibited the sale and personal possession of the Imperial portrait. Apparently the Emperor was not photographed again until 1889. The later photographs became very popular and received widespread publication and distribution. Some believe that unauthorized copies of the "Official" photographs were distributed through the years, possibly by Baron Raimund von Stillfried und Ratenitz. Whether the early images of the Emperor and Empress by Uchida were restricted in publication as a mater of deliberate policy is an open question. The fact remains that original photographic reproductions of these first images (pre-1889), such as found in this book, are scarce. The same images, but hand colored, are found in Thomas Van Buren's book Labor in Japan - together with - Pottery and Porcelain Industries of Japan, Yokohama, Japan, printed at the Japan Gazette Office, 1882. For more information on that book, click here.

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