KINMÔ ZU-I. EHON, NAKAMURA Tekisai.
KINMÔ ZU-I
KINMÔ ZU-I
KINMÔ ZU-I
KINMÔ ZU-I
KINMÔ ZU-I
KINMÔ ZU-I
KINMÔ ZU-I
KINMÔ ZU-I
KINMÔ ZU-I
KINMÔ ZU-I
KINMÔ ZU-I
KINMÔ ZU-I
KINMÔ ZU-I
KINMÔ ZU-I

KINMÔ ZU-I

1668. Item #88773

[EHON] NAKAMURA Tekisai. KINMÔ ZU-I 14 vols in 5. Kanbun era date in the preface from 1666. [20 kan of pictures and, {from the first kan} two table of contents volumes.] 27.0 x 19.7 cm, obon in size, string-bound, Japanese-style, fukuro-toji, with early blue covers but without the printed paper title labels. There are literally hundreds of b+w woodblock-printed images with brief descriptive headers and a title which gives the correct Chinese character for the thing described. Originally conceived as a sort of combination of encyclopedia and character dictionary for those learning to read, the images and brief description of "all knowledge" in the KINMÔ ZU-I created a new and immensely popular genre in early modern Japan. There were soon KINMÔ ZU-I dedicated to everything from the world of humankind and its variety, the world of Chinese culture, through everything one would want to know about plants to a encyclopedic look at the theatre and, of course, human sexual behavior (the KOSHOKU KINMÔ ZU-I). And the original work, originally published in the 1660s, went through countless additions and re-creations. Even this early version, done barely two or three years after the original, already bears little resemblance to it. This version, with most pages quartered into four images, is the version which Engelbert Kaempfer saw and purchased on his travels in Japan in 1690-1. He employed knowledge gained from the KINMÔ ZU-I in his two great works on Japan, especially his HISTORY OF JAPAN. He actually reproduced a series of images from the version of KINMÔ ZU-I we are offering here as illustrations to his HISTORY. Thus, not only is this set a remarkably important guide to the state of Japanese knowledge in the early modern period, it is also historically important as perhaps the first Japanese book to be explicitly used as a resource in a scholarly work produced in the West. There were other new and important contemporary versions produced in the 1690s and 1780s and then done anew in the 19th century. It was the absolute authority for science, botany, astronomy, technology, etc. in the popular imagination. But this version at hand is not only amazingly early, it is also acknowledged as perhaps the most interesting and well-printed version, as well. This copy is in good condition, though the covers are worn throughout. The impressions are very good.

Price: $9,500.00

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