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Ancient and Modern Various Usages of Tokio - OKAMOTO, K.S. [Konseki] - 1885. 
- Tokyo, Morito 1885. 23x15cm publisher's wrapper with printed title label (wrapper somewhat grubby, label chipped and another old label on the front); 62 double folded leaves, colour woodblock illustrations throughout, one double page, three full page. Used but a most acceptable copy. A beguiling and puzzling book. Is it a souvenir for tourists? a primer for westerners learning Japanese? a primer for Japanese learning English? It could be any or all of these. Apart from some hats, and despite the title, there are few signs of the modern world. So, obviously it's for tourists. But why is so much of the text, all the explanatory stuff, in Japanese? The sections on "Celebreted Article and Food" and "Names of Cake" are unillustrated Japanese text. And why are those hats there? So it isn't for tourists. Then why so old world? Is it for Japanese readers as a reminder of what they might lose in the rush to modernise? The opponents of westernisation - and there were plenty - didn't usually write books like these and Okamoto published an "Elementary Spelling Book" a couple of years after this. And why are those hats there? My guess is that it is an attempt to be all things to everyone but those hats still worry me.
[Bookseller: Richard Neylon]
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