Kaikoku no shizuku - Hyoryu itan [A Drop of water towards Opening the Country - A curious tale of being adrift].

HECO Joseph.; HIJIKATA Hisaakira translator (1893].)

£1200.00  [First Edition]

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First edition. 1 vol. (all published). Three lithograph plates. 8vo. Original decorated wrappers, label on spine, minor wear and repairs, but overall a good copy protected in a modern Japanese fold-over case. [vi], 236pp. Tokyo, Hakubunsha, dated: Meiji 26 [i.e.

An extraordinary account of Hamada Hikozo (1837-1897) who, aged 13 (working as a cabin boy, and two years before Commodore Perry first visited Japan), suffered shipwreck on the Eriki-maru, was rescued together with 16 others by an American vessel and taken to California, where he famously became the first Japanese to be given American citizenship. He spent some ten years in the US, learned English, and subsequently (1860) returned to Japan where he became interpreter at the U. S. Consulate at Kanagawa. He was involved on the margins of the Choshu rebellion of 1863.  In the same year he founded his own trading company and later was instrumental in publishing the first Japanese language newspaper (Kaigai Shimbun). In Japan he is often regarded the father of Japanese journalism. Heco originally wrote the text of the book in English. The translator, Hijikata Hisaakira, later became the Governor of the Bank of Japan. It is unclear why only the first volume was published. A two volume English edition was subsequently published in Yokohama in 1895. 

Stock Code: 202010

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