The Elementary Spelling-Book, Being an Improvement on the American Spelling-Book, the Latest Revised Edition
By Noah Webster, Tokio and Osaka, Rikugokuwan, 1887
The Elementary Spelling-Book, Being an Improvement on the American Spelling-Book, The Latest Revised Edition, Tokio & Osaka, Rikugokuwan, Meiji 20 (1887), large 18mo (4 1/2 x 6 3/4 in - 11.2 x 17 cm), entirely in English except for a Japanese language colophon and a page following the colophon, blue printed paper covered cardboard boards, original red linen tape type spine covering, 10 black and white woodcut illustrations, 174 pp. The front cover states "Sold by all principal Booksellers throughout all parts of the world." The front cover and title page bear only the imprint of Rikugokuwan, Tokio and Osaka. The title page boasts "The Cheapest The Best And the Most Extensively Used Spelling Book Ever Published." This book was originally published in the United States and I have seen with several different imprints which include the American Book Company, New York, and D. Appleton & Co, New York. Numerous editions of the Webster's "Speller" were published starting in 1786. The "Elementary Spelling" book first appeared in the United States in the late 1820 and came to be know popularly as the "Blue-Backed Speller." The revised edition was first sold in the late 1850s. This book contains a preface remark dated in 1880. This book is an example of how Japan was eagerly embracing Western language, culture and technology in the years during the Meiji restoration.