Baidō [created and illustrated by].
Tōkyō : Maki Kinnosuke, Fukagawaya, Meiji 26 .
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 illustrations (usually woodblock-printed in the Meiji period) to be cut out, assembled, and played with. The subject of this particular kirikumitoro-e is Baron Fukushima Yasumasa, a general in the Imperial Japanese Army who, from February 1892 to June 1893, traversed the 14,000 kilometres from Berlin to Vladivostok solo. On his trip he passed through Siberia, the Russian Far East, Manchuria, and Turkestan, and, while the journey was said to be a private adventure trip, some of Fukushima's main motives were to investigate the construction and progress of the Trans-Siberian Railway and gather as much information on Russia as possible. This particular triptych, a rare instance of Fukushima's journey being repackaged for children, includes illustrations of a bear, horses, Fukushima, the Ural Mountains, trees, shrubs, and what appear to be Russian soldiers. A scarce example of a complete, "non-cut", kirikumitoro-e triptych of Fukushima's famous Japanese espionage mission to Siberia.
Triptych. Margins slightly trimmed. A few small pin holes and minor foxing to margins also. Several ink stains and scrapes, mainly to first print. Corner of third print creased. Otherwise very good. 3 leaves, complete. Each print measures 37.8\6 x 25.2 cm. Text in Japanese.