The Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Walter Dening, 5 Parts, 1888-90
Dening, Rev. Walter:
The Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a 5 part set, Tokyo, The Hakubunsha, 1888-90 (Meiji 21-23), stiff wrap covers illustrated in color, 12mo (5 x 7 1/4 in - 12.7 x 18.3 cm), string tied in Kangxi binding style, text in English and on folded pages, Japanese language colophon at the rear, approximately 4-6 double page color woodblock prints per part, a total of 27 double page and 1 single plate color woodblock prints, each part with approximately 80 text pages, pages numbered consecutively, 417 pp. The spine is not covered except for approximately 3/4 in (1.8 cm) at the top and bottom. Publisher's advertisements at the end of Parts I, II and III. On the back cover it states "The Hakubunsha, Publishers, Booksellers, Printers and Stationers, No. 1, Shichome, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan."
The double page color woodblock prints are printed on one side of a single sheet. They are then folded at the middle and tipped to tabs which are bound into the book. The single page plate is also printed on one side only and tipped to tab. The woodblock print pages are not numbered or included in the page count. There are a total of 26 double page plates and one 1 page plate in the five part set.
Wenckstern discusses this set in these terms:
Dening, Rev. W. The Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. 417 pp. text with many plates. Post 8vo, Tokio, 1890. (80 cents).
Fine Edition on Japanese paper, in five volumes, Post 8vo, Tokio, 1890, ($2.50 c).
(Wenckstern, Volume 1, 1859-93, at page 96)
Based upon the Wenckstern entry it is clear that there was a trade edition, or ordinary type, single volume version of the book and multi-volume "Fine Edition." Wenckstern's discussion refers a single book with 417 pages (80c) as well as 5 volume "Fine Edition" ($2.50).
I have examined a "trade" edition hardbound book version dated 1888. In the "trade" edition book the woodblocks, which are in color in the regular editions, are black and white. The hardbound book with all five Parts that I have examined had no covers for the individual parts. It started with a title page dated 1888, followed by a two page preface followed by an unnumbered page with a quote by Sir Thomas Tawele Buxton. The balance of the book was the same as the regular edition with a total of 27 double page plates and 1 single page plate. However, all plates are the same as in the "trade" edition except the last two plates in Part IV are entirely different (click here to see these two plates). There was no colophon in this book.
An advertisement for this set published in Japan in Days of Yore stated:
The Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, in 5 Vols.,
illustrated with notes and apendices, about 360 pages, printed with type lately imported from England.
The tale of Hideyoshi's life is one of the most wonderful records of triumph of genius over the most formidable obstacles that Japanese history contains. It tells how a poor, friendless lad rose to be the first lord of the land, and how the foundations of that form of central feudal government which Ieyasu elaborated with such consummate skill were laid by the Taiko. Hideyoshi's originality, fertility of resource, knowledge of human nature, generosity, courage, and versatility constitute him the most remarkable man that Japan has produced. (Japan in Days of Yore, Part I, 1887, Walter Dening, Hakubunsha, publisher's advertisements at the rear after page 78).
The books which are discussed on this page, and pictured below, are part of the "Fine Edition" that Wenckstern notes.
Pages & Woodblock Prints in Each of the Five Parts:
Part I, pages 1-78, Meiji 21 (1888) - 6 double page color woodblock plates
Part II, pages 79-154, Meiji 22 (1889) - 6 double page color woodblock plates
Part III, Pages 155-244, Meiji 22 (1889) - 6 double page color woodblock plates
Part IV, Pages 245-324, Meiji 23 (1890) - 5 double page color woodblock plates
Part V, Pages 325-417, Meiji 23 (1890) 1 single page & 4 double page color woodblock plates
Title Page (Part I)
Title Page (Same in Part II & III)
Title Page (Same in Part IV & V)
Color Woodblocks, Part I
Color Woodblocks, Part II
Color Woodblocks, Part III
Color Woodblocks, Part IV
(Black & white plate in "trade" is different. To see, click here.
(Black & white plate in "trade" edition is different. To see, click here.
Color Woodblocks, Part V
(Only single page plate in the set)
Meiji 21 (1888).11.26
Meiji 22 (1889).9.10
Meiji 22 (1889).9.10
Meiji 23 (1890).11.10
Meiji 23 (1890).12.16