Fallen Leaves from a Foreign Country

A new addition to the growing collection of books, etc on the expedition of Admiral Perry to Japan between 1853 and 1854, is a rare Japanese account published in 1854, shortly after the signing of the Kanagawa Treaty (March 31, 1854) which opened the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate for American vessels. The description of the events is written by an anonymous author (the preface is signed by one “Ingakudo”), and contains colorful illustrations, including a map of the Edo Bay (with the new coastal fortifications, including the Odaiba Islands which were erected after Perry’s first landing in July 1853), an American steam engine, presents from the Americans to the Japanese Emperor, a map of North America and the Caribbean, eight portraits – four shoulder-length of Matthew Perry, his son Lt. Oliver Hazard Perry II (1825-79), who acted as his secretary, Commander Henry A. Adams (Perry’s chief of staff), and an American naval officer; and four full-length of the American soldiers; and four images of details of American uniform, drums, trumpets, a sable, and a picture of a “Black ship” (possibly, USS “Mississippi”). The account ends with the Japanese translation of Commodore Perry’s message to the Japanese Emperor. The illustrations signed by “Miki Kosai” were executed by a talented Japanese artist and engraver named Utagawa Yoshimori. The book is considered one of “the rarest and finest of the printed books devoted to Perry in Japan, 1853-54″ (Foreigners in Early Japan: Paintings, Prints, Books; Including a Remarkable Perry Scroll and Scroll of Russians in Japan, 1853-1855. Dawson’s Book Shop, Los Angeles 1966-1969, Catalogue 354, Lot 154)

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