Illustrations of Japanese Life
First Edition, 1896
Takashima, S (descriptions):
Illustrations of Japanese Life, Tokyo, K. Ogawa, descriptions by S. Takashima, Meiji 29 (1896), 1st Edition, 8vo (7 1/2 x 10 1/4 in - 19.3 x 25.9 cm), crepe paper, 12 hand colored collotypes, tied with purple twisted silk cords, 7 folded leaves with stiffener paper in between, the front and back cover are not folded pages, 14 pages in total (covers not counted). This is one in a series of collotype books with this same title published by K. Ogawa.
In the four part series of books with this title, this is the only book where the illustrations are in a vertical format (height exceeds width). This format is best for presenting posed full body/standing portraits of individual people and that is the nature of almost all the images in the book. The other three books are in the horizontal format and contain images which are more in the nature of groups of people, views and scenes.
The first folded page has the Title Page (front) and Preface (back). The six other folded pages have a photographic image, reproduced in collotype, front and back. The focus of this book is customs and ceremonies of Japan with the focus on activities of women. The photographs include, 1) The "Geisha" (Singing Girl). [In Later Books Captioned "The 'Suwari-Odori.' (A Dancing)], 2) Backyard of a Tea House, 3)"Sayonara!" (Good-Bye), 4) Venturing Out in the Rain, 5) Letter Writing, 6) Morning Toilet, 7) The Cherry, 8) The "Amma" (Shampooer)*, 9) The "Shiohi" (Fishing on the Dry Bed)*, 10) Buddhist Priests Conspicuous, 11) The "Kamishimo" (The Ancient Ceremonial Dress)* and 12) Japanese Maiden*. While the picture areas vary slightly, the norm is 7 x 5 1/2 in - 17.8 x 13.4 cm. The collotypes are all printed against a light yellow background. This is not the case with later editions and even some versions of the first editions. On later editions the front and back covers were also folded pages which is not the case with this first edition. The plates designated with an "*" contain different images from those found in later editions of this book. In addition, a book with the first edition colophon has been examined which has approcimately three different images from those shown below.
In the preface, K. 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.
Many editions of these books were published and can be identified by the Japanese colophons inside the back cover. Some of the later editions did not contain an identical set of images.
I am aware of an edition of this book with the 1st edition colophon which states "Vol. 1." on the front cover. However, a volume number is not stated on the title page.
Information on other editions:
Examples of colophons are given below. For more information on this click here.
For information on Kazumasa Ogawa, click here.
* These 4 plates are not repeated in later editions of this book.
The 6 rows of Japanese writing at the right give dates and editions. Starting at the right and reading left they indicate:
Meiji 29 (1896) - 1st edition printed
The 9 rows of Japanese writing at the right give dates and editions. Starting at the right and reading left they indicate:
Meiji 29 (1896) - 1st edition printed
There is no accounting for the 7th ~ 10th editions. I presume this is the 12th edition (1918) because it is the last edition listed.
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