HOMEJapanese Culture (日本の文化) > 『絵でみる日本の人々の生活』(E de miru Nippon no hitobito no seikatsu)
Japanese Pictures of Japanese Life

English ed. 1895 (Meiji 28)Catalogue No. 62
English 2nd ed. 1903 (Meiji 36)Catalogue No. 63


E de miru Nippon no hitobito no seikatsu
著者:長谷川武次郎(Author : Takejiro Hasegawa)
絵師:不明(Illustrator : anonymous)

■ 解説
 The book portrays life in Japan mainly through the medium of pictures. Illustrations of this type undoubtedly did much to satisfy Western curiosity about Oriental culture, and the style suggests that they were produced by Yoshimune Arai, but the illustrator is not credited. This indicates that other books with the same concept and title were in circulation at the time.
  There are depictions of eight "scenes," each of which is explained by a short English text as well as identified in the table of contents. The scenes are entitled "Buddhist Priest," "Kago and Jinrikisha" (portraying the palanquin and ricksha as representative of ancient modes of transportation), "Rice Planting," "Umbrella-maker," "In a Restaurant," "After a Day's Work" (showing a worker receiving a massage), and "Flower-seller" (a picture of an old peddler).
  The book is also brimming with humor. In the picture of the umbrella-maker, for example, the craftsman lets out a cry of dismay when umbrellas in hand are blown away by the wind. The picture is captioned "rain-proof, but not wind-proof." On the cover is a well-conceived illustration of an illustrator sketching the picture of the umbrella-maker for the book.
  The picture below is the second edition of the book published in 1903 (Meiji 36). The illustration by Yoshimune Arai shows the pressmen making Crepe-paper books in "suriba" (i. e., printing shop). This edition has largely different content from the first edition. This indicates that the other book with the same concept and title was in circulation at the time.