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Amerika fujin]. [American Lady] - JAPANESE DESCRIPTION OF AMERICAN LADY AND - 9999. 
No publication details. - Japanese black and white illustrated woodblock handbill, 23 x 30cm. Some damage with a little loss upper right but otherewise very good. This interesting handbill was very probably published in the late Edo period when Japanese interest in information about America and its people was particularly heightened following the arrival of Biddle and then Perry. Due to the strict government policies of the time accurate information about the United States was difficult to obtain as this handbill rather quaintly demonstrates. Divided into three sections, the most prominent section features an image of an American woman with accompanying text, the two other sections; an object which appears to be a fountain, and, in the lower section two American boys. The text which accompanies the image of the American woman translates as "[She is] the most beautiful woman in the west. Her name is 'Akirisanteru' [Alexandra?] and she is nineteen years old. She wears an exotic ornament on her head and silk shawl like a Buddhist robe on a tight-sleeve blouse. She covers the lower body with a black skirt made of thin cloth. Her skin is white and her hair, though curly, is dark and shining. She wears an undershirt made of red western cloth, and wears gold ornament with a hexagonal pattern around her neck. She wears earrings made of a silver ring and coral and holds a parasol in her hand." The image of the two American boys is described in the following terms: "The older boy is twelve years old and holds a heavy vase made of iron. The younger boy is four years old and holds a racket." The object in the upper left section is named as a "Konstapontein" and appears to be an interesting piece of scientific technology rather than a garden ornament. Although it is not clear exactly what it is, both the image itself and the sound of the word "pontein" strongly suggest it is a fountain of some sort. It seems likely it is a Dutch novelty scientific device, the upper cover of it described as being made of glass. [Attributes: Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: Asia Bookroom ANZAAB/ILAB]
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