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Atago Miyage [trans.: Memoir of Worshiping at the Shrine of Atago Gongen in Kyoto, the God of Fire Prevention]
Woodcut illus. in the text (many full-page). 40; 28; 27; 35 folding leaves (complete; pagination irregular & almost meaningless). Three parts in four vols. Small 8vo, orig. wrappers (rubbed & tired), new stitching. Kyoto: Yamatoya, 1699. First edition and very rare; there is no copy of this anonymous work listed in WorldCat. During the Edo period, the major cities of Japan repeatedly suffered from great fires. In the Preface, the nameless author writes that he had studied for many years the sources of uncontrolled fires in Kyoto. He also states that he had developed a number of new methods of fire prevention and firefighting. The author considers the most common sources of fires: heating devices known as kotatsu as well as cooking devices and shrines using candles and incense. Arson was also common. Lightning and strong dry winds in certain seasons could also rapidly spread fires throughout the city. Mosquito netting commonly started fires as well. Certain kinds of manufacturing businesses - tea leaf roasters, manufacturers of oils for illumination and cooking, etc. - were also potential sources of fires. The author also attributes fires to certain deities who have been angered by human transgressions. The author provides a number of methods of fire prevention. In the first volume, there are a number of tools depicted for use by fire fighters: special shoes to enable them to walk on roofs and hot surfaces, devices to force entry, water guns, candles for illumination at night, buckets, ladders, fire retardant fabrics using mud (large sheets of cotton soaked in muddy water and draped over the burning roof using an intricate roller), water pumps, etc. The attractive woodcuts depict the firemen at work, climbing ladders, spraying water, spreading fire retardant fabrics, constructing emergency ladders, etc. Throughout, the author stresses the importance of teamwork within the brigades of firefighters. He also recommends that local residents form patrols to monitor potential situations which could cause fires. In the final volume, the author discusses the medical aspects of fires including how to treat burns using certain herbal medicines and how to treat smoke inhalation (drink radish juice). He also recommends food high in energy for the firefighters. Fine set. Occasional minor marginal worming.
      [Bookseller: Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2018-02-09           Check availability:      Biblio    

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