Illustrations of Japanese Life
Photographs by K. Ogawa, Descriptions by S. Takashima
Takashima, S. (Suteta) (descriptions):
Illustrations of Japanese Life, a deluxe edition, K. Ogawa (Tokyo), Sole Agents, Kelly and Walsh (Yokohama, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore), descriptions by S. Takashima, 4to (10 1/2 x 14 1/2 in- 27 x 36.5 cm - occasionally described as "Folio" size), brocade silk boards with recessed panels front and back containing tipped in color woodblock prints on silk, board edges beveled, patterned end papers, all page edges gilt, purple silk tassel ties, vertical format, plain paper, 100 hand colored collotype plates with descriptive captions and commentary printed below the image. Each plate is numbered immediately below the commentary. This book has a slip inserted at the rear which is a Japanese language colophon. It shows a printing and publication date of June, 1895.
While not designated as a "Deluxe Edition" this clearly is the top of the line edition of this book. Other editions were printed on crepe paper. Most of those contained 12 images each. However, two volume crepe paper editions were also published containing approximately 50 plates per volume.
This is the only plain paper edition of this title of which I am aware.
The book is variously reported with between 95 and 100 plates. I do not know if they were actually published with the lesser number of plates or if plates were removed. In this book each plate is numbered (1 to 100) so it is simple to determine if a plate is missing. I have reviewed one book with less than 100 plates. This book had 95 plates. The title page was undated whereas it is dated 1896 in this book of 100 plates. In addition, the plates were not numbered.
The title page carries the date of 1896. This conflicts slightly with the Japanese language colophon which shows Meiji 28 (1895).
In the preface dated May 28, 1896, Ogawa states:
I have to acknowledge my indebtedness to Messrs. Tamamura and S. Kajima, as well as Prof Burton, for several of the plates in this volume.
I find very little information on the various Illustrations of Japanese Life books that Ogawa published. The four different versions each containing 12 hand colored collotype plates are, in my experience, most frequently seen on the market. For more information on those books, click here.
The following three relevant entries are found in the Wenckstern bibliography.
Illustrations of Japanese life, 100 collotype plates with short description in English by S. Takashima, folio, 1896 (yen 20.--).
Wenckstern, Bibliography of the Japanese Empire - 1894-1906
List of all 100 plates
Colophon (inserted at rear)
Printed: Meiji 28 (1895).6.21 (far left column)
Published: Meiji 28 (1895).6.25 (second column from left)
Title Page states 1896
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