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Edo Period [1603-1853] Bakumatsu Period [1853-1868] Meiji Period [1868-1912] Taishō Period [1912-1926] Shōwa Period [1926-1989]

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A Collection of 157 Envelopes Housing Paper Templates

Over 150 Paper Templates for Oshi-e Pictures

[Collection of Oshi-e Templates]

[Creator unidentified]. 

[Japan, ca. early to mid-Meiji period (1860-1880s)?]. 


A collection of 157 envelopes housing paper templates used to make oshi-e (raised pictures made with padded cloth). The templates would have been affixed to thick cloth, which would then have been cut to the same size as the paper. The ...

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Shin'an Kyōiku Kuku Garuta

Times-Tables Cards, Stencil-Printed

Shin'an Kyōiku Kuku Garuta ["New Ideas for Education: Multiplication Table Cards"]

[Creator unidentified]. 

[Japan: publisher unidentified, ca. late Meiji period (1900-1910s)?]. 


Two uncut kappazuri (stencil-printed) sheets of educational playing cards for school-age children. The number in the top right of each picture card is the answer to ...

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Untitled Obi

An Obi Featuring Ornate Book Wrappers

[Untitled Obi]

[(Japan?): maker unidentified, ca. Shōwa period (20th century)].


A Shōwa period obi featuring multiple gold and silver book wrappers with elaborate patterns.


One obi. Light blue-grey underside. Approximately 434 x 31 cm.


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A Playful Obi

A Charming Obi Decorated with Miniature Books

[(Japan?): maker unidentified, ca. Shōwa period (20th century)].


A playful obi patterned with small, vibrantly coloured books within golden frames, probably produced in the Shōwa period.


One obi. Minor rubbing to background fabric. Cream-coloured underside. Approximately 430 x 31 cm.


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Imari Charger Plate Decorated with Book Motifs

An Imari Dish Featuring Book Designs

[Japan: workshop unidentified, ca. mid-Meiji period (1870-1900s)].


An opulent serving dish patterned with floral devices and book motifs. An apocryphal Chinese 'Chenghua' mark reading Daimin Seika nen sei (“made during the Chenghua reign of the Great Ming Dynasty”) adorns the base. This mark was used on Chinese ceramics and employed by Edo era Japanese ...

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A Set of Three Plates with Book Motifs

Three Plates with Book Patterns

[Japan: workshop unidentified, ca. mid to late Meiji period (1880-1910s)].


A charming set of plates featuring scroll, tanzaku, and traditional wahon designs. The image of Mt. Fuji in the wahon illustration may have been inspired by works like Hokusai's Fugaku Hyakkei and Hiroshige's Fujimi Hyakuzu.


Three plates, with a few stains and ma ...

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Untitled Tsuba

An Awa Shōami Sword Guard Patterned with Books

[Unidentified Awa Shōami school craftsperson].

[Japan: workshop unidentified, ca. late Edo period (18th to mid-19th century)].


A stunning iron tsuba (sword guard) for a katana sword, forged in the late Edo to early Meiji period and decorated with golden books using traditional nunome-zōgan cloth-weave inlay techniques. The tsuba comes with a ninteis ...

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“Elementary Reader: Water-Dropper for the Encouragement of Learning”

A Book-Shaped Water-Dropper for Calligraphy

Shōgaku Dokuhon Kangaku Suiteki [“Elementary Reader: Water-Dropper for the Encouragement of Learning”]

[Japan: workshop unidentified, ca. early to mid Meiji period (1870-1890s)].


A Bizen ware suiteki (water-dropper used to add water to ink for calligraphy or penmanship practice) in the shape of a fukurotoji-bound Japanese book. Bizen pottery is traditi ...

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Untitled Menuki

A Book-Shaped Sword Fitting

[Untitled Menuki]


[Higashiyama, (Kyōto)?: workshop unidentified, ca. Edo period (17th to mid-19th century)].


A metal menuki (fitting for a sword hilt) in the shape of three Japanese books, two with yotsumetoji (four-hole) bindings and one with a musubitoji (yamatotoji) stabbinding. The mounted daisen title of the stab-bound volume reads Nagauta (長 ...

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Ōji Seishi-Gaisha Ryakuzu

Diagram of a Papermaking Factory

Ōji Seishi-Gaisha Ryakuzu ["Diagram of the Ōji Paper Company"]

Ōsai [Utagawa], Fusatane [Murai, Shizuma] [illustrated by]. 

Asakusa, [Tōkyō]: Tsunashima Kamekichi, Meiji 10 [1877].


A copperplate-engraved diagram of the different stages of papermaking at the Ōji Paper Company. The illustration depicts the paper mill the company built in 1875 ...

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Untitled Album of the Activities of the Washi Research Institute

A Scrapbook on Washi and Fabrics, by Uemura Rokurō

[Untitled Album of the Activities of the Washi Research Institute)]

[Uemura, Rokurō (compiled by)].

[Japan, ca. mid-Shōwa period (1950s)].


A scrapbook of tipped-in photographs and fabric samples compiled by Uemura Rokurō, a renowned researcher of dyeing and weaving. The scrapbook includes pictures of Dr. Hans Drissler (who founded the Japan Paper Import Co ...

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Illustration of a Japanese Bookshop from a Western Perspective

Viaje el Japon: Una libreria de Yedo

Bertrand [illustrated by].

[Spain: publisher unidentified, ca. 1876].


A Western interpretation of famed publisher Tsuruya Kiemon's bookstore in Tōriaburachō, based on an illustration of the same shop from the multivolume Edo Meisho Zue (ca.1834).

One loose leaf, possibly removed from a book by a previous owner. Light discolouration to&nbs ...

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[Tōkyō]: Sekaido, [ca. mid-Shōwa period (1930-50s)?].

A Postcard Featuring Izumiya Ichibei's Bookstore

[Kitao, Masayoshi ... (et al.) (illustrated by)].

[Tōkyō]: Sekaido, [ca. mid-Shōwa period (1930-50s)?].


A collection of four postcards introducing famous places in Tokyo, featuring an illustration of a shop selling ezōshi (illustrated books), nishiki-e (ukiyo-e prints), hanging scrolls, and other items in Asakusa's Nakamise shopping street. ...

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On Medicine

An Advertisement Designed to Resemble a Leaf from a Book

Reihō Mankintan ["Sacred Tiger Balm"]

Ise, [Japan]: Noma Inaba-en, [ca. mid-Edo period (17th to 19th century)].


An advertisement or set of instructions for the Noma family brand's Reiho Mankintan, a famous cure-all popular as a souvenir from Ise in the Edo period. The print is designed to look like a leaf from a book, as is apparent from the hanshin title colu ...

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An Untitled Manuscript Record

On Booksellers' Official Licenses

[Documents Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (text by)].

[Ibaraki, Japan], Meiji 4 [1871]. Manuscript.


A handwritten draft or record of a text produced by authorities regarding the granting of official licenses to booksellers, on stationery woodblock-printed by the Koga Domain (present day Ibaraki Prefecture).


Two folded leaves, considerab ...

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Transformation of a Person's Temperament: Free Education Method, Illustrated

An Advertisement for a Book on Phrenology

Hitojichi Henkan: Jizai Kyōikuhō Zukai ["Transformation of a Person's Temperament: Free Education Method, Illustrated"]

Mihara, Muneaki [book being advertised authored by].

Okayama: Ritsuma Akiko, [ca. Meiji 21 (1888)].


A copperplate-engraved advertisement for the publication of a work on phrenology by Mihara Muneaki. The misspelled English subt ...

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An Untitled Kuchi-e Print

A Collage of Illustrations by and of Famous Figures

[Untitled Kuchi-e Print]


Sensai [Kobayashi], Eikō [illustrated by].


[Japan: publisher unidentified, ca. late Meiji period (1890-1910s)?].


Examples of Ways to Fold Envelopes

How to Elegantly Package Gifts, Warrior-Style

Tsutsumimono Orikata Hinagata ["Examples of Ways to Fold Envelopes"]

[Creator unidentified].

[Japan, ca. Meiji period (1868-1911)?].


A collection of 54 samples of papers folded in specific ways for various occasions. Rules for the correct pre ...

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An Embroidered Fabric Fragment

A Fragment of Fabric Depicting a Bird's-Eye View

[Fabric Fragment].


[Designer unidentified].


[Japan: manufacturer unidentified, ca. Meiji period (1868-1912)?].


A cutting of f ...

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A Fabric Fragment

A Fragment of Fabric Depicting Foreign Ships

[Fabric Fragment]


[Designer unidentified].


[Japan: manufacturer unidentified, ca. Meiji period (1868-1912)?].


A cutting of fa ...

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An Untitled Woodblock-Printed Album

A Blank Book for Calligraphy Enthusiasts

[Untitled Album]

[Japan: publisher unidentified, ca. mid-Meiji to Taishō period (1890-1920s)?].


An album of thirty colour woodblock-printed spreads produced for calligraphy enthusiasts, who could write in brush and ink directly onto the pages or ask ...

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An Untitled Collection of Match Labels

Over 500 Labels from the '20s and '30s

[Untitled Collection of Match Labels]

[Japan: various publishers, ca. Taishō to early Shōwa period (1910-30s)].


A collection of over five hundred Japanese product labels from the 1920s and 1930s, tipped-in to a photograph album. Most of the labels ar ...

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An Untitled Collection of Labels

Samples of Japanese Advertising Design

[Untitled Collection]

[Japan: various publishers, ca. late Meiji to early Shōwa period (1900-1940s)?].


A collection of fourteen labels and advertisements for products including matches, medicine, toys, food, silk, and so on, from the early twentieth ...

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An Untitled Programme/Menu

Menu for a US-Japan Themed Naval Celebration

[Untitled Programme/Menu]

[Japan: publisher unidentified], 1923.


A programme and menu for a US-Japan themed celebration, in French. The embossed naval crest on the upper section of the card implies the event was held on a ship.

An Untitled Greeting Card

A New Year's Card from the Japanese Communications Minister, in French

[Untitled Greeting Card]

[Minister of Communications].

Tōkyō: [Ministry of Communications], 1917.


An illustrated card in French from "Le Ministre des Communications du Japon", wishing the unidentified receiver a H ...

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An Untitled Collection of Photographs

Photographic Records of Eclipse Expeditions to Hokkaido

[Untitled Collection of Photographs]

[Photographer unidentified].

Esashi, Hokkaidō: Asakura Shashinkan, [ca. Shōwa 11 (1936)].


A collection of 24 photographs capturing various groups that travelled to Esashi, Hokk ...

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A Walk Through Japan, 1877

A Finely Bound Record of a Trip to Japan

A Walk Through Japan, 1877


Goff, Lieutenant-Colonel [Robert Charles] [text by].


London: Printed by William Clowes and Sons, 1878.


A Western-Style Puzzle Book

Ninety New Movable Puzzles

Seiyō Chie Ita Zukai Tsuketaru Zu Tehon = Ninety New Moveable Puzzles

Itabe, Masashichi [translated by].

Ōsaka: [Kanshōdō], Meiji 10 [1877].


An illustrated introduction to Western-style movable puzzles for Japanes ...

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A Path to Dutch Learning

On the Dutch Language, for Scholars of Medicine

Rangaku Kei ["A Path to Dutch Learning"]

Fujibayashi, Jundō [Fuzan] [text by].

[Japan: publisher unidentified, postscript dated Bunka 7 (1810)].


Believed to be a retitled edition of Yakken Hanrei Narabini Fugen (" ...

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A Biography of Columbus

On Christopher Columbus

Koronbisu Denki ["A Biography of Columbus"]

Hirooka, Haruki [Torajirō] [translated by].

[Kumamoto?]: Seiunrō, Meiji 3 [1870].


A scarce early-Meiji text on Christopher Columbus, with two woodblock-printed illustrat ...

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A Master and Servant Observe Obedience to Their Duties and a Disaster is Averted

A Moral Lesson on Loyalty from Ancient Rome

Shujū Gi wo Mamorite Nan wo Manukaru ["A Master and Servant Observe Obedience to Their Duties and a Disaster is Averted"]

Ōju [Mizuno], Toshikata [illustrated by]; [Tominaga], Toshichika [corrected by].

Tōkyō: Tsuji Keiji: Fukyū sha, Meiji 21 [1888]. "Later printing".

To Become a World-Famous Scholar After Renouncing Alcohol

A Moral Lesson on the Evils of Alcohol

Kōfu Sake wo Tachite Issei no Kuwauju to Naru ["To Become a World-Famous Scholar After Renouncing Alcohol"]

[Kobayashi], Toshikazu [illustrated by]; [Tominaga], Toshichika [corrected by].

Tōkyō: Tsuji Keiji: Fukyū sha, Meiji 21 [1888]. "Later printing".

&n ...

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A Dream Omen of the Floating World

Pro-Foreign vs Anti-Foreign Trade: a Fūshi-e

Ukiyo no Nami Yume no Uranai ["A Dream Omen of the Floating World"]

[Kawanabe, Kyōsai (attributed to)].

[Edo (Tōkyō)?: publisher unidentified, ca. Bunkyū 3 (1863)].


A comical fūshi-e featuring people whose busin ...

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A Colourful Print by Koyoshimori

The Daily Jobs of Beasts

Kedamono Shiyo Shoku-zukushi ["The Various Jobs of Beasts"]

[Utagawa], Koyoshimori [illustrated by].

[Edo (Tōkyō)]: Jōkin [Jōshūya Kinzō], Keiō 3 [1867].

A satirical giga print on the daily jobs of animals by ...

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An Authoritative Catalogue of Nanshoku Literature

A Bibliography of Nanshoku Literature


Iwata, Junichi [edited by].

Tōkyō: Koten Bunko, Shōwa 31 [1956]. First edition.


A detailed bibliography of references to nanshoku themes in Japanese literature by artist and researcher Iwata Junichi (1900-1945), published posthumously through the efforts of author and critic Edogawa Ranpo (1894-1965). This first edition lists a total of 1,093 ...

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A Booklet on Japan's First 'LGBTQI+ Film'

Shochiku Films Scenario: Farewell to Spring

松竹映画シナリオ 惜春鳥

Kinoshita, Keisuke [screenplay and direction by].

Tōkyō: Eiga Taimususha, Shōwa 34 [1959]. First edition. 


A highly illustrated booklet on Kinoshita Keisuke’s film Sekishunchō, or Farewell to Spring. The film, released in 1959, is frequently referred to as the first LGBTQI+ themed film produced in Japan due to the close emo ...

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A Playbill for the Nanshoku Play Tsutamoyō

The Ivy-Patterned Bloodstained Seal


[Kawatake, Shinshichi III (original play by)].

Shintomi-machi, [Tōkyō]: Shintomiza, Taishō 3 [1914].


A shibai banzuke playbill for a performance of the nanshokuthemed kabuki play Tsutamoyō Chizome no Goshuin at the Shintomi-za theatre, Tōkyō, at 3 p.m. on October 8, 1914. Four vignettes of scenes in the performance are featured on the p ...

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A Scene from a Nanshoku Play

Honour in a Loyal Death: the Great Fire at the Hosokawa Residence


Kōchōrō, Kunisada [Utagawa, Kunisada III (illustrated by)]; Kawatake, Shinshichi III [original play by].

Nihonbashi, [Tōkyō] : Fukuda Kumajirō, Meiji 22 [1889].


A triptych by Utagawa Kunisada III (1848–1920) depicting the most famous scene from the kabuki play Tsutamoyō Chizome no Goshuin (蔦模様血染御書, “The Ivy-Patterned Blo ...

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Twenty Counting Poems about Benten Kozō

Counting Songs of Benten Kozō


[Kimata, Asakichi? (text by); Kawatake, Mokuami (original play written by)].

Okazaki, [Aichi]: Kimata Asakichi, Meiji 29 [1896].


A collection of twenty kazoeuta (counting songs or poems), each with three lines, based on the tale of the young thief Benten Kozō Kikunosuke from the kabuki play Aotozōshi Hana no Nishikie ("The Glorious Pictur ...

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Four Book-Envelope Designs from Sōshi Mon'yōshu

Four Sōshi Patterns

[Koshōtei, Sanjin (edited by).

Kyōto: Maria Gabō, ca. early Shōwa period (1920-30s)].


Four colour woodblock-printed reproductions of book-envelopes and wrappers of kusazōshi books, affixed at the edges to make one large leaf. The illustrations are probably from Sōshi Monyōshū (草紙文様集), a collection published in the early Shōwa period by Maria Gabō.

& ...

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Paper Guides for Sewing Shoes or Socks

Paper Guides for Sewing Tabi or Jika-Tabi

Ōsaka: [Yamakichi?], ca. early Meiji period (1870-90s)].


A set of three paper templates for cutting materials to make tabi socks or jika-tabi (shoe-like tabi), woodblock-printed with instructions. The templates have been sewn together and may have been sold as a set in this format.


Three templates, sewn together, with an accompanying hand-inscribed ...

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A Collection of Fabric Oshi-e

A Collection of Fabric Oshi-e

[Japan: publisher and creator unidentified, ca. early to mid Meiji period (1870-90s)].


A collection of fabric representations (oshi-e (押絵)) of characters from ukiyo-e. The title slips and lines of characters' clothes appear to have been cut out from woodblock-prints and laid onto various pasted-down fabrics to bring the characters to life. Some sections of the figur ...

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A Fan-Painting Attributed to Kyōsai

A Hand-Painted Illustration Signed by Kyosai

Seisei [Kawanabe], Kyōsai [signed by].


[Japan, ca. mid Meiji period (1870-80s)?]. Manuscript.


A delicately hand-painted illustration attributed to Kyōsai. The scene, possibly alluding to setsubun, is comical, with one figure seemingly mistaking an oni mask resting on the bottom of a sleeping man for a real face. A very finely executed fan-painting i ...

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Kyōsai's Drawings for Pleasure

Kyōsai's Drawings for Pleasure


Kawanabe, Dōiku [Kyōsai] [illustrated by].

Tōkyō : Takeda Den'emon, Meiji 14 [1881].


A delicately woodblock-printed album of 34 double-page illustrations of plants, flowers, and animals by Kyōsai. The theme of the set is uncommon for Kyōsai, who is more widely known for his satirical illustrations. Each volume includes seventeen double-pag ...

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A Women's Treasury of Loyalty

The Women's Chushingura


[Yō, Yōtai (original text by)].

[Ōsaka: Ono'oka Jinzaburō, ca. 1900-20s?].


In The Women's Chushingura, a play first performed in 1782, the heroine Ohatsu, the loyal maidservant of the middle-rank lady-inwaiting Onoe, takes revenge on Iwafuji, the senior lady-in-waiting, for causing the suicide of Onoe. Rebecca Corbett notes that the pl ...

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A Complete Ten Volume Set on the Satsuma Rebellion

The Seinan War, from Beginning to End


Shōzaburō, Maeda [edited by]; Utagawa, Yoshikage [illustrated by].

Ōsaka: Maeda Kihē, Meiji 10 [1877].


A complete set of ten illustrated books on the Satsuma Rebellion (also known as the Seinan War), a battle between samurai and the new imperial government which took place from January to September, 1877, culminating in the elimination of th ...

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Kitao Masayoshi's Masterpiece of Landscape Painting

Sketches of Landscapes


[Kuwagata], Keisai [Kitao, Masayoshi; Keisai, Masayoshi] [illustrated by].

Naniwa, [Ōsaka]: Fukusada Tōhē, Bunka 10 [1813].


A Fukusada edition of Keisai's "guide to drawing landscapes simply". Keisai Masayoshi (1764-1824), who also worked under the names of Kitao Masayoshi and Kuwagata Keisai, provides a range of half-, single-, and double- ...

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A Picture-Puzzle Calendar

New Edition Puzzle-Picture: Days of the Old (Lunar) Calendar

"しん板はんじ絵 旧の月日"

[Japan: publisher unidentified, Meiji 22 (1889)?].


Egoyomi ("picture-calendars") were originally produced in the Edo period for people who could not read. Typically, months in the calendars were indicated by numbers on dice, and the Zodiac animals were used to indicate the first days of the months. Months with 31 days are listed underneath a ...

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A Vivid Chiyogami Paper Printed with a Metallic Pigment

New Patterns for Yūzen Dyeing


[Illustrator unidentified].

[Tōkyō]: Shiseidō, [ca. 1900-1920s].


A chiyogami paper illustrated with a design for yūzen dyeing of waves, flowers, and shallow sake cups marked with the character 壽 ("lucky"), woodblock-printed with a metallic pigment.


One leaf, complete. Browned, light creases, a few bumps to extremities ...

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Four Hansatsu Notes

Four Hansatsu

Okada Domain, [Okayama]: Shichiya Kojimaya, Kyōho 17 [1732].


Four woodblock-printed hansatsu, feudal scrip used in the place of legal tender. These ginsatsu ("silver notes") each represent one monme (3.75g) of silver, and were issued in Kyōho 17 (1732).


Four leaves, printed on both sides. Wear, light soiling, creases. Each leaf measures 19.7 × ...

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Classic Illustrated Books Modern Art and Design Books Translations of Western Texts Japanese Literature Prints and Ephemera Western Books Photo Books Paintings & Scrolls Australia & New Zealand Others


Australia New Zealand Antarctica Japan Korea China Other


Edo Period [1603-1853] Bakumatsu Period [1853-1868] Meiji Period [1868-1912] Taishō Period [1912-1926] Shōwa Period [1926-1989]

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