HOMEJapanese Culture (日本の文化) > 『子どもの日本』(Kodomo no Nippon)
The Children's Japan
English ed. 1892 (Meiji 25) Catalogue No. 59


French ed. 1936(Showa 11) Catalogue No. 125
『子どもの日本』(Kodomo no Nippon
著者:スミス夫人(Author : Mrs. W. H. Smith)
絵師:不明 (Illustrator : anonymous)

■ 解説
文化を紹介したものである。「日本の家」から始まり、「日本人の生活」、「日本の赤ちゃん」、「少年期」、「日本の休日」 、「日本の音楽」、「人力車」、「マナーと着物」、「日本の技工」について、女性の目から見た柔らかい雰囲気で記述している。
  Written by the Englishwoman Mrs. W.H. Smith, this book introduces Japanese culture through the activities of children. Starting with one on "Japanese houses," it contains chapters on "How the Japanese lives," "Japanese babies," "Older babies" (i.e., juveniles), "Japanese holidays," "Japanese music," "The Jinrikisha," "Manners and Dress," and "Japanese skills." Its descriptions are soft from a feminine perspective.
  In spite of the title, the book is not devoted wholly to practices involving children. The chapter on Manners and Dress, for example, praises the deportment of Japanese women as compared to Western ones residing in Japan, while commenting on the charming look of the kimono and the attention taken to grooming the hair. The chapter on Japanese music contains illustrations of Japanese women playing the koto and the samisen, and describes the features of these instruments and how they are played. The text states that there are various types of music in Japan, that Japanese girls become fond of playing the koto and samisen as they grow, and that, once they start to play, they don't stop until the end of the day.
  In mentioning the crepe-paper books published by Hasegawa Kobunsha, the preface notes their pleasant feel and strength, adding that they aren't ripped or torn even if handled by little children.