OGILBY John translator.; MONTANUS Arnoldus (1670.)
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being Remarkable Addresses by way of Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Emperor of Japan. Containing a description of their several territories, cities, temples, and fortresses; their religions, laws and customs; their prodigious wealth, and gorgeous habits; the nature of their soil, plants, beasts, hills, rivers, and fountains. With the character of the ancient and modern Japanners. First English edition, large-paper copy. Engraved frontispiece title, 1 folding engraved map, 24 engraved plates (a few marginal tears to folds, occasional browning), and numerous engraved illustrations in the text. Folio (410 by 260mm). Contemporary calf, rebacked, (minor wear to extremities), very light browning to paper, but overall still a very good copy. Engraved bookplate of E[lizabeth] Tyrconnel, the daughter of William Cartwright of Marnham, and wife of John Viscount Tyrconnel. [iv], 488pp. London, Printed by T. Johnson for the author,
Montanus describes two VOC embassies under Andreas Frisius to Japan (not of course to the Emperor but to the Shogun) in 1649 and 1661 - at the height of Dutch power in the Far East. The work is regarded as a one of the most beautifully illustrated books of the seventeenth century, with the plates showing large folding views of Kyoto, Tokyo, Kagoshima and Osaka, as well as numerous engravings illustrating the customs, scenery, types, and architecture of Japan. It includes a detailed account of the reception of the embassy, the court rituals, the questioning and the entertainment, ending: "Thus we have given you a large account of the present estate, prodigous wealth and wonderful magnificenceof the Empire of Japan, taken out of the journals of several embassies from the Councel of the Netherland East-India Company, setled in Batavia; being the latest and fullest observations that ever were taken concerning that Isle, reaching within three years of this our present publication..." (p. 488). Cordier (Japonica), 384-385; Landwehr (VOC), 524; Laures 498.
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