HOMEOTHER PUBLISHERS(その他の出版者) > 『日本の一年』(Nippon no ichi-nen) 全2巻
The Japanese Months. 2vols.

Vol. 1, English ed. 1894 (Meiji 27) Catalogue No. 187


Vol. 2, English ed. 1894 (Meiji 27) Catalogue No. 188


『日本の一年』(Nippon no ichi-nen) 全2巻
著者:岡田松生(Author : Matsuo Okada)
絵師:不明(Illustrator : anonymous)
発行:足助房太郎(Publisher : Fusataro Ashisuke)

■ 解説
 第一巻の冒頭にある1月を取り上げると、「門松は 冥土の旅の 一里塚 目出度くもあり 目出度くもなし」(At every door the Pine-trees stand; One mile-post more,to the split-land; And as there's glandness, so there's sadness.)という一休禅師の有名な短歌で始まっている。その後、注連飾<しめかざ>りに橙<だいだい>や裏白<うらじろ>、譲葉<ゆずりは>などが付いていることを説明している。また、「おめでとう」の言葉で新年を祝い、子どもたちはカルタや双六で遊ぶことなど、正月の行事が極めて詳細に書かれている。
 The book profiles doings in Japan from January to December. The 12 months are divided into two volumes.
  The first volume begins with an English rendering of the famous 31-syllable "tanka" poem by the Zen monk Ikkyu: "At every door the Pine-trees stand; One mile-post more, to the spirit land; And as there's gladness, so there's sadness." It proceeds to a detailed description of New Year's customs and activities, including the display of straw festoons with a bitter orange, ferns, and evergreens attached; the use of the word "omedeto" as a New Year's greeting; and the games of "karuta" cards (utagaruta and hanagaruta) and "sugoroku" (i.e., a kind of backgammon) played by children. In the illustration for January, a ricksha passes in front of a house decorated with "kadomatsu" pines and kimono-clad women holding "hagoita" battledores. Also in the picture is a "Mikawa manzaishi" (i.e., comic storyteller) and Japanese-style lion dance.
  The author is Japanese, and the descriptions of life and functions in other months are equally detailed. In addition to that mentioned above, the illustrations in the first volume depict the procession of an Edo "daimio" (i.e., feudal lord) in the new year, the grove of plum trees in bloom in the Kameido district of Tokyo, the Doll Festival on Girls' Day, the viewing of cherry blossoms in Ueno Park, the transplanting of rice shoots in paddies with even children helping out, the Iris Festival on Boys' Day, and the festival at Hiyoshi Sanno Shrine. The subjects of those in the second volume are the "Bon Festival" (i.e., Buddhist All Souls Day), a tug-of-war, the viewing of the full moon in mid-autumn, a sumo match, rice milling, a garden with chrysanthemums, the making of rice cake, and a wedding. Unfortunately, the book does not list the name(s) of the illustrator(s) who created these illustrations symbolic of the old Japanese year.