Tokyo: Kōsa Rōsōkan 江左老皂館 [Yorozuya Hyōshirō 萬屋兵四郎], Meiji 7 . 3rd Japanese edition. Stock ID #156601
Complete in 2 volumes. Volume I: 5 coloured woodblock maps, including one double page coloured map of the world, a map showing the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, another showing the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and a map of the United States. Volume II 37 maps one with outline handcolour. Black and white woodblock illustrations in the text in both volumes. Folded sheets 1-7, 1-47. Volume II: 1-48, 1-2. Paper title labels and wave pattern paper covers stained and a little insect damaged in places. Traditional Japanese 4 hole stab binding. 26 x 18cm. This influential work on the geography and customs of the United States was first published under the title 美理哥合省國志略 [Meilige he sheng guo zhi lue] in Chinese in Singapore in 1838 by American missionary, E.C. Bridgman writing under his Chinese name of Pi Zhiwen 裨治文. With the hope of removing the uncivilised image of the United States, Bridgman had begun writing this book in 1836 and finished it at the end of 1837 with the help of a Chinese man called 梁植 [Liang Zhi]. Following its publication this work became the educated 19th century Chinese persons standard reference for all related to the United States. There are still disputes among the academics with regard to how many Chinese editions of this book exist. However the majority of scholars agree, that besides the first 1838 edition, the other editions are the 1844 Hong Kong edition titled 亚墨利格合众国志略 [Yamolige he zhong guo zhi lue] and the 1861 Shanghai edition 大美联邦志略 [Da mei lian bang zhi lue]. In 1861 the first Japanese edition was published in Shanghai and it immediately proved very popular running to a further six editions over the following 13 years. Mitukuri Genpo 箕作元甫 (1799-1863), an interpreter for the Edo government was responsible for the Japanese reading marks in the text, rendering the Chinese text more readable for the Japanese readership. (学术堂-裨治文与《美理哥合省国志略》, 2016) (When referring to this item please quote stockid 156601).