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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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An Illustrated Description of gDr. Sanden's Electric Belth

Sanden Denki Obi Zukai

[Illustrator not identified].

[Japan : Sanden Denki Shōkai, ca. late Meiji period (1903-1907)].


A lithographically printed advertisement for Dr. Sanden's ‘Herculex’ electric belt, a device supposed to give vitality and restorative powers to those who wore it. The Sanden Electric Company, founded by Albert T. Sanden in America in 1885, opened i ...

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A Silhouette Print of People and Animals

Shinpan Utsushi-e

[Illustrator not identified].

[Tōkyō : Tsujikame-ban, ca. early to mid Meiji period (1875-1895)].


An utsushi-e (projection picture) of 53 silhouettes of people and animals. People in varying professions are pictured, including a jinrikisha (cart-puller), a samurai, and a walking salesman. Children and a variety of animals are also featured, as is a woman ...

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A Silhouette Print of Monsters and Ghouls

Shinpan Andō Utsushi-e

Kobayashi, Eijirō [Ikuhide].

Bakurochō, [Tōkyō] : Higuchi Gintarō, Meiji 14 [1881].


A woodblock-printed omocha-e (toy print) featuring a mixture of silhouettes of people, monsters, and spirits. There are 47 silhouettes in total, including those of two rokurokubi (monsters with long necks), a kasa-obake (umbrella spirit), a monster whose oi ...

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Three Uncut Leaves for Book Wrappers and Frontispieces

Yoshiko no Hanabukuro

Ikkadō, Hansui [created by]; Hasegawa, Sadanobu [illustrated by].

[Ōsaka? : Kawachiya Sasuke?, ca. Bunkyū 2-4 (1862-64)].


Three uncut woodblock prints for the wrappers and first few pages of three Yoshiko no Bushi songbooks, or kayōshū. Hasegawa Sadanobu (1809-1879), the artist of these prints, is known to have produced wrappers for numero ...

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Trials of Strength Between Celebrity Rivals

Kōkoku Raimei no Shokun Mitate Chikara Kurabe

[Katsushika?], Masahisa [illustrated by].

Tōkyō : [publisher illegible], Meiji 15 [1882].


An engrossing triptych featuring over three hundred famous people engaged in bouts of kubihiki. Kubihiki was a Japanese game in which a looped string was placed around the necks of two people and a trial of strength would ensue. In this work, celebrities, almost all ...

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A Colourful Record of the First Western-Style Circus Performance in Japan by Professor Risley's Troupe

Tenjikujin Yokohama nite Karuwaza no Zu

Utagawa, Yoshitora [illustrated by].

Tōkyō : Fujiokaya Keijirō, ca. Ganji Gannen [1864].


A colour woodblock-printed yokohama-e of the travelling troupe of American Richard Risley Carlisle performing in Yokohama. The troupe, comprising ten equestrian performers and eight horses along with Risley himself, arrived in Yokohama on the 6th of March, 1864. ...

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On Popular Western Hairstyles for Japanese Women

Fujin Sokuhatsu Kairyō-zu

Yokoyama, Ryōhachi [illustrated by].

Kyōbashi, Tōkyō : Yokoyama Ryōhachi, Meiji 18 [1885].


A woodblock print of popular sokuhatsu hairstyles for women. Sokuhatsu, a hairstyle consisting of a bun or knot tied at the back of the head, was popular in Japan in the Meiji era. The brightly coloured print makes several references to "English Knot ...

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A Woodblock for Printing a Gambling Game

Fukubiki Ōiri

[Illustrator not identified].

[Japan : (publisher not identified), ca. late Edo to early Meiji period (1810-1870s)?].


A woodblock carved on both sides used to print a fukubiki lottery game. Fukubiki was a "popular pastime involving the drawing of lots or some similar method to win prizes".¹ This particular woodblock would have been used for a fukubiki game ca ...

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A Woodblock-Printed Cutting Believed to be from a 13th Century Kasuga-Ban

Dai Hannya-kyō

[Nara : Kōfukuji?, ca. Kamakura period (1185–1333)?].


A cutting presumed to have been taken from a Kamakura period Kasuga edition of the Dai Hannya-kyō (or Dai-Hannya Haramitta-kyō (Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra)). The ex-owner has added a tipped-in description reading simply “Kamakura Period, Cutting from a Kasuga Edition of the Dai Han ...

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A Japanese Dime Novel, with Stunning Woodblock-Printed Wrappers

Uchikaesu Naruto no Kishinami

Sanjin, Fuyōrō, Wakita, Suekichi [edited by]; Utagawa, Kunimatsu, Inano, Toshitsune [illustrated by]; Nakamura, Kunihiko [proofread by]; Kawahara, Fūrai [preface by].

Tōkyō : Noriki Tokubē, Meiji 17 [1884]. First edition.


A two-volume work of historical fiction illustrated by Inano Toshitsune and Utagawa Kunimatsu. Inano Toshitsune (1 ...

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A Japanese Catalogue of Canadian Wallpapers

Wallpapers for Three Generations, Made in Canada

[Creator not identified].

Kyōbashi, [Tōkyō] : Yabuya Kawashima Fusumagamiten, Taishō 15 [1926].


A catalogue of 26 Canadian wallpaper samples published by Yabuya Kawashima Fusumagamiten, a company predominantly known for selling fusuma (Japanese sliding screen) papers. A number is printed on the verso of each decorative sample, and a price list ...

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The First Handbook of Foreign Place Names Published in Japan

Kakkoku Shoryō Bankoku Chimei Shōran

Shibata, Shūzō.

Edo [Tōkyō] : Shunsōdō, [Kaei 6 (1853)].


A guidebook of place names from around the world, recorded as "the first dictionary of place names [published in Japan]".¹ The author, Shibata Shūzō (1820–1859), was the son of a dried fish seller who lived on Sado Island in his early years. He enjoyed drawi ...

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A Recent History of Japan, Highly Illustrated and with a Focus on International Incidents

Ehon Kinsei Nihon Nenkei

Tsuchiya, Ikunosuke [Sudō, Nansui] [edited by]; Ichiōsai [Utagawa], Kunimatsu [illustrated by].

Tōkyō : Shimizu Kahē, [publishing permission received in Meiji 16 (1883)]. First edition.


A charming accordion-folding chronology of important events in Japan from 1844 to 1882, highly illustrated with delicate copperplate-engraved vignettes. Th ...

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The Most Famous Japanese Translation of Aesop's Fables, with Japanised Versions of Sir John Tenniel's Original Illustrations

Tsūzoku Isoppu Monogatari

Aesop [original fables by]; Watanabe, On [translated by]; Fujisawa, Bainan, Sakaki, Kōson, Kawanabe, Kyōsai, [Tenniel, Sir John], [Wolf, Joseph] [illustrated by].

Tōkyō : Watanabe On [printing blocks owned by]; Inada Sahē [distributed by], Meiji 5-6 [1872-73].


The most widely known Japanese version of the Aesopica, translated and self-publ ...

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One Hundred Famous Works by Kōrin

Kōrin Shinsen Hyaku-zu

Ogata, Kōrin [illustrated by]; Sakai, Hōitsu, Terada, Iwajirō [edited by]; Kameda, Bōsai [preface by].

Kyōto : Hosokawa Seisuke [Hosokawa Kaiekidō], Meiji 27 [1894].


A set of two woodblock-printed books of illustrations based on paintings by Rinpa school artist Ogata Kōrin (1658-1716). The first edition of these books was produce ...

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A Woodblock-Printed gBasic Guide to Western Clocksh

Seiyō Tokei Benran

[Yanagawa, Shunsan].

Tōkyō : Yamatoya Kihē, [ca. Meiji 2 (1869)].


A woodblock-printed booklet published to help Japanese readers understand ‘western time’ and the reading of western clock faces. The change in Japan from the old lunar calendar to the Gregorian calendar was made in November of Meiji 5 (1872), and this accordion-folding boo ...

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A Children's Cut-Out of Fukushima Yasumasa's Lone Horseback Ride Across Siberia

Fukushima Chūsa Tanki Ensei

Baidō [created and illustrated by].

Tōkyō : Maki Kinnosuke, Fukagawaya, Meiji 26 [1893]. 

A colour woodblock-printed triptych kirikumitoro-e (‘cut-out-and-build lantern’) of Fukushima Yasumasa's solo espionage expedition across two continents. Kirikumitoro-e, also known as tatebanko or kumiage-e, are i ...

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Inscribed by Greey to Mrs. Fenollosa, with an Original Sketch

The Golden Lotus and Other Legends of Japan

Greey, Edward [written and with covers designed and drawn by].

Boston : Lee and Shepard, 1883. First edition.


A first edition copy of Greey's 'The Golden Lotus', inscribed by him to Mrs. (Lizzie) Fenollosa (dated 1882, before the official publication of the book). Ernest Fenollosa taught political economy and philosophy at the Imperial University ...

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Seven Woodblock-Printed Chirimen-e

A Collection of Crepe Paper Illustrations, Woodblock-Printed

Hiroshige, Andō ... [et al.] [illustrated by].

[Japan : publisher not identified, ca. 1920-40s].


A collection of seven colour woodblock-printed chirimen-e (crêpe-paper illustrations) printed in the Taishō to early Shōwa period, possibly earlier. The collection includes two large reproduced illustrations from Hiroshige's ‘Fifty-t ...

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A Collection of Postcards and Letters from, and relating to, Edmund Blunden

[Ca. 1923-1930].


A collection of two letters and two postcards from Edmund Blunden to English bookseller J.S. Billingham, along with four postcards from Blunden's Japanese students to the same bookseller, and two blank postcards sent to Billingham by Blunden. Blunden was the Professor of English at the University of Tokyo from 1924 to 1927, and the letters and postcar ...

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First Steps in Geography

Chiri Shohō

Tōkyō : Monbushō, Meiji 6 [1873].


A Meiji-period illustrated textbook on geography compiled by the government. Books such as these were used after the opening of Japan to trade in the Meiji period to introduce scientific information from overseas to the Japanese population. Woodblock-printed, with several illustrations, including one in colour of a world ma ...

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Inscribed by Mademoiselle Chrysantheme and Illustrated by Foujita

Les Huit Renommees

Yamata, Kikou; Foujita, Tsuguharu [illustrated by].

Paris : Andre Delpeuch, 1927.


Yamata Kikou’s ‘Eight Recommendations’ for sightseeing in Japan, illustrated with 47 images of the landscapes and people of Japan by famous artist Foujita Tsuguharu. The book has been inscribed on the half-title by Yamata, who refers to herself as ‘Chrysanthem ...

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The Japanese Novel That Caught Conan Doyle's Attention

I am a Cat (Chapter I, Chapter II)

Natsume, K. [Kinnosuke; Natsume, Soseki]; Ando, K. [Andō, Kanichi] [translation by]; [Hashiguchi, Goyō (illustrations by)].

Tokyo : Y. Okura, 1906 [actually 1908]. First edition, later printing.


The first English translation of Natsume Soseki's classic of modern Japanese fiction. The translator, Andō, a fan of Conan Doyle, went to the great writ ...

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An Illustrated Scroll of Bugaku Imperial Court Dances, Delicately Coloured

Bugaku Zukan

Ca. late Edo period (early to mid-1800s). Manuscript. 


“Alongside the closely-allied music practice of gagaku, the establishment of the bugaku tradition during the Nara (710-794) and Heian (794-1185) periods reflected a growing interest in cultural and religious practices outside Japan and became part of the Japanese imperial court's broaden ...

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A Commemorative Booklet Celebrating Saint Nicholas of Japan's Elevation to Archbishop of All Japan

Jūkanroku: Sōga

Mizushima, Kōyō (Isaiah) [edited by].


Tōkyō : Seikyō Honkai Henshūjo, Meiji 39 [1906]. First edition.


A document printed to commemorate a celebration by the congregation of the Japanese Orthodox Church for the 25th anniversary of Bishop Nikolai Kasatkin (1836–1912) and his elevation to Archbishop of All Japan by t ...

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A Collection of Japanese Sheet Music from the 1920s-30s, with Several Designs by Yumeji

47 Pieces of Japanese Sheet Music

Takehisa, Yumeji, and others [illustrations by].


[Japan] : Senow, Symphony ... et al., Taishō to early Shōwa period [1920-30s].


A collection of 47 pieces of sheet music published in Japan in the 1920s and 1930s. Sheet music published during this period in Japan is known for its beautiful Art Nouveau and Art Deco designs, and these exa ...

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On Famous Australian Figures

Gōshū Jinmei Jiten

Nan'yō Keizai Kenkyūjo.


Tōkyō : Nan'yō Keizai Kenkyūjo, Shōwa 19 [1944].


A booklet in Japanese listing famous Australians and Australian residents, including convicts, explorers, artists, Royal Navy officers, geographers, and naturalists. The figures included are, in order, William Dampier, S ...

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A Beautiful Botanical Diary, in Four Volumes

A Set of Sketchbooks of Seasonal Flowers and Plants

Ca. Meiji 36 to 44 [1903-1911]. Manuscript.


A set of four books of skillfully hand-painted flowers and animals, presumed to be by the same, unknown, Japanese artist. Most of the illustrations are captioned with the name of the flower/plant pictured and the date the sketch was made, suggesting that the books were used as ‘sketchbook diaries’ in w ...

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Twenty-Three Kamon and Katagami Stencils

A Collection of Happi Pattern Stencils

Ca. late Taishō to early Shōwa period [1920-40s].


A collection of beautiful stencils for dyeing patterns onto ‘happi’ [traditional Japanese straight-sleeved coats] and/or ‘haori’ [formal coats]. Most of the stencils feature ‘kamon’ [circular family crests], and would have been used for the back panel of such coa ...

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Two Beautifully Woodblock-Printed Japanese Cruise Ship Menus

Two Nippon Yūsen Kabushiki Gaisha Menus from 1928

Watanabe, Kazan ... [et al.][illustrated by].


[Tōkyō?] : Nippon Yūsen Kaisha, 1928.


Two colour woodblock-printed one-leaf menus from the S.S. Hakozaki Maru and the Taiyō Maru. The menu from the S.S. Hakozaki Maru (Commander T. Sekine) is dated Thursday, 2nd August, 1928, and the Taiyo Maru menu is dated Sunday, January ...

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The Catalogue of a Sidney Nolan Exhibition in Tokyo

Bunmei wo Warau Kaiga no Shizenji: Shidonii Nōran ; Sidney Nolan

Fuji Terebi Gyarari. [Tokyo]: Sankei Shimbun Co. Ltd. ; Fuji Telecasting Co., 1973. First edition. The catalogue of an exhibition of the works of Australian artist Sidney Nolan in Japan, patronised by the Australian Embassy in Tokyo. The exhibition was held from the 10th until the 28th of April, 1973, at the Fuji Television Gallery in Tokyo, and included 26 of Nolan’s mixed ...

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A Highly Pictorial Book on Australia and New Zealand

Gōshū Nanpō Tairiku Oyobi Nyūjīrando Chōhakuun

Tsuchiya, Motosaku. Osaka: Asahi Shinbunsha, Taishō 5 [1916]. First edition. A detailed photographic record of the cultures and geographies of Australia and New Zealand, for Japanese readers, with many black and white photographic illustrations of the native animals, landscapes, cities, and indigenous peoples of the two countries. The book includes images of famous A ...

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The Menu of the 'Japanese Night' Dinner Attended by Oscar Wilde and His Lover

Ye Sette of Odd Volumes, Limmer's Hotel, Friday, June the Third, 1892

[London] : Ye Sette, 1892. 


The menu of the ‘Japanese Night’ dinner held in 1892 by members of Ye Sette of Odd Volumes (an English club of bibliophiles founded by bookdealer Bernard Quaritch in 1878) and attended by many members of the Japan Society. The night is known to have been attended by, amongst others, Narinori Okoshi, Cap ...

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1 - 33 of 20 :

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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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