TSURUMINE SHIGENOBU (1788-1859)
Merika Shinshi [New Account of America]
[Japan]: Shunjitsuro, 1855. 5 volumes. Woodcut maps and illustrations by Utagawa Sadahide, comprising three hand colored double-page maps and 22 double-page and two single-page woodcut illustrations.
Publisher's stitched paper wrappers, with circular medallic onlays
The first Japanese book exclusively about America.
This Japanese account of the history of America was written by scholar Tsurumine Shigenobu based on information from John Munch, as well as translations of western books and interviews with visiting Americans. The first volume is largely devoted to Columbus's discovery and the Spanish conflicts with natives; the second volume begins with a brief account of California before turning to a history of the American Revolution; the third volume treats South America and its independence movement, as well as Native Americans; the fourth and fifth volumes are on American commerce and customs.
The illustrations are attributed to Utagawa Sadahide, the famous artist best known for his Yokohama-e pictures of foreigners. Among the illustrations are portraits of George Washington, Columbus, Vespucci and Queen Isabella; battles scenes, including Yorktown and other American Revolution conflicts; gold mining, whaling and more.
Very rare complete with all five volumes. OCLC records only 4 copies in North America (University of British Columbia, Yale, University of California, Berkeley and Brigham Young University).