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Onna shoreishu [trans.: Collection of Rules - (JAPANESE WOMEN) - 1688. 
Numerous full-page woodcuts. Seven parts in six vols. Large 8vo, orig. blue wrappers (rubbed & a little worn), orig. title slips on upper covers, modern stitching. N.p.: 1688. Fourth edition (1st ed.: 1660); all early editions are very rare. Copies which appear on the market are usually incomplete and in bad condition; our set is in fine condition. This was the standard book of the 17th century on the role and responsibilities of female servants in upper-class society and in the household. The anonymous author wrote this work to instruct these women servants in matters of highly refined etiquette required in royal, aristocratic, and wealthy households. Topics include proper attire, how to assist at festivals and weddings, how to treat the belongings of the servants' mistresses, how to care for and teach etiquette to children, travel customs, etc. This work offers an intimate and rather unique view of customs and conduct within upper-class households. There are instructions on correct eating decorum; suggestions for seasonal attire, courtship and wedding rituals, wedding receptions, menus for weddings and other celebrations, transporting the dowery, how to prepare the room for delivering a baby, celebrations relating to the milestones in a child's life, etc. The fine illustrations have sometimes been attributed to Hishikawa Moronobu but there is no convincing proof, save the style, which is reminiscent of his work. A fine set, with some mostly marginal and unimportant worming. WorldCat locates no copy of this edition. ? See the Nara Women's University on-line site for an account of the contents of this book.
[Bookseller: Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller, Inc.]
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