Nokaeki (or Noka eki) [For the Farmer’s Benefit]. Nagatsune OKURA.
Nokaeki (or Noka eki) [For the Farmer’s Benefit].
Nokaeki (or Noka eki) [For the Farmer’s Benefit].
Nokaeki (or Noka eki) [For the Farmer’s Benefit].
Nokaeki (or Noka eki) [For the Farmer’s Benefit].
Nokaeki (or Noka eki) [For the Farmer’s Benefit].
Nokaeki (or Noka eki) [For the Farmer’s Benefit].
Nokaeki (or Noka eki) [For the Farmer’s Benefit].
Nokaeki (or Noka eki) [For the Farmer’s Benefit].
Nokaeki (or Noka eki) [For the Farmer’s Benefit].
Nokaeki (or Noka eki) [For the Farmer’s Benefit].

The Japanese Wax Tree & its Products

Nokaeki (or Noka eki) [For the Farmer’s Benefit].

Numerous woodcut illus. in the text. 35; 27; 23 folding leaves. Three vols. 8vo, orig. patterned wrappers, orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers, new stitching. Osaka, Kyoto, & Edo: Preface & colophon dated 1802.

[with]:

—. Nokaeki kohen [Sequel to For the Farmer’s Benefit]. Numerous woodcut illus. in the text. 30; 33 folding leaves. Two vols. 8vo, orig. patterned wrappers (some worming at outer edges, touching some images & text), orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers, new stitching. Osaka, Kyoto, & Edo: Prefaces dated 1810, colophon dated 1802.

[with]:

—. Nokaeki zokuhen [A Second Sequel to For the Farmer’s Benefit]. Numerous woodcut illus. in the text. 28; 25 folding leaves. Two vols. 8vo, orig. patterned wrappers, orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers, new stitching. Osaka & other cities: Preface dated 1818, colophon dated 1854.

First edition and a complete set of the author’s first book. Okura (1768-1856?), was one of the three most eminent agriculturalists of the Edo period. A reformer, he wrote more than twenty books on all aspects of agricultural improvement and technology; they were amongst the best of their period for range and clarity of explaining the new methods. Okura was devoted to the development of farm production which centered around the three aspects of technological improvement, cultivation of commercial products, and the processing of farm products.

This work is devoted to the cultivation and products of the Japanese wax tree (toxicodendron succedaneum), a plant from which is produced lacquer, a traditional candle wax (it had the great advantage of being resistant to wind and produced little soot), and a pomade for hair. This plant was a subject which interested Okura his entire professional life.

The numerous and quite attractive woodcut illustrations depict different species of the plant, the cultivation of the plant, farmers tending the grown trees in beautiful landscapes, the tree in various seasons, training and pruning techniques, grafting methods, harvesting the fruits of the tree, rendering the oil, the many steps in processing the oil, pricing of the various products, packing them for transportation, marketing (“bringing it to Osaka is best”), sample letters for negotiations and contracts, images of merchants buying from the farmers, storefronts of pomade and candle shops, etc.

The wrappers of the first and second sequels are very attractively embossed with images of the leaves of the wax tree.

A fine set and very rare when complete. WorldCat does not list any library as having a complete set.

❧ There is a most wonderful YouTube program on the making of traditional Japanese candles using the wax from this plant at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aU_l8gZr3I.

Price: $8,500.00

Item ID: 6423

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