Beautiful Natural History Specimens from All Over Japan
Manuscript on paper entitled on first leaf “Kaito shosan bussanshi” [trans.: “Local natural history specimens from all over Japan carefully described”].
About 40 finely drawn & colored illus. 16 folding leaves. 8vo (264 x 180 mm.), orig. wrappers, new stitching. [Japan]: late Edo.
This is an extremely finely executed album of illustrated natural history specimens collected from throughout Japan; the nearly 40 illustrations are very well drawn and painted, many with mica or three-dimensional techniques, used in traditional Japanese painting, to make the drawings more realistic. The specimens include botanical, mineral, and animal examples.
The first leaf of the album contains the title and an index of the 22 specimens. These include: a special kind of ivy from Nikko (with Chinese names and where found), a “four-eyes” jellyfish from Shizuoka, a seahorse from Wakayama, a cowskin from China (?), a “floating rock” from Izu, a “crab rock” and camphor wood from Ehime, fossils, “pepper rock” from Yamagata, copper (three images showing the stages of refining the ore) from Iwate, seaweed from Niigata, white bats from Ibaraki, the tree producing white lacquer from Kagoshima, leeches from Musashino, almonds from Nagano, etc.
There is some repaired worming which occasionally touches images but we do not find it offensive. This manuscript is very beautiful.
Item ID: 6313