Very Rare Japanese Antique Book - JAPANESE TOPSTURVYDOM by Emily S. Patton - Published 1896 by T.
A visit to the latter's website proved the contrary to be true. The item they apparently once had was the hardcover version and so was probably in a little better shape than mine, which has just a little wear commensurate with being the soft cover version and with being approx.
If you were a Westerner visiting Japan in the late 1800's or early 1900's and said to a Japanese person, "I feel hungry", that person probably would know what you were talking about because the way the Japanese expressed that was, "The honorable inside has become empty". Such is the fun and edification to be gleaned from this antique publication, which scholars have deemed very culturally significant, leading to multiple recent reprints having been made. With engaging sections on Loyal Demonstration, Books & Writing, Building, Boats, Food & Table Etiquette, Social & Domestic Habits, Horses, Bells, Cucumbers (yup), Gardens, Funerals, etc. This single volume book was written and printed at a time when the English-speaking world was particularly mesmerized by Japan.
Many of Britain's citizens had been introduced to Japanese individuals and culture at the 1862 International Exhibition in London. Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado followed, along with the short story "Madame Butterfly" by the American writer John Luther Long. This book describes and explains to the English-speaking Westerner many aspects of Japanese culture and life. Dedicated to Mark Twain by the English author, who lived in and signs the dedication "Yokohama", where my father was born but fled at age 3 with his 2 older brothers and mother and father when Yokohama was destroyed by an earthquake and fire in 1923.
As with the antique Japanese Fairy Tale Series from this same publisher, Japanese Topsyturvydom features soft crepe paper leaves folded on the outside edge, each leaf thereby making 2 pages, in this case 40 pages (7" X 8") including the front and back covers. Bound in traditional Japanese fashion by two hand-sewn stitches. Woodblock-printed color images on every page, traditional and quite intricate, the front and back covers a little faded but all the rest clear and colorful.
No pages missing, no marking, no odor. The cover leaf has begun to split at the outside edge, but this does no harm to it and the inside introduction page. The cover leaf is a little tattered around the periphery, as is the spine. The back cover is less tattered but has a small brown stain with 3 tiny holes in it, and there's a tiny hole near the left edge.A few minor dimples in the front cover leaf and next 2 or 3 leaves and in the back cover leaf. All other leaves/pages are in very good condition. All in all, light wear commensurate with being approx.