Osaka: 1806. Item #397
Osaka: Kawachiya Kichibei et al., Bunka 3 . 6 vols. 26x18 cm. With ca. 250 woodcut views and maps, of which approx. 170 are double-page. Original publisher’s orange wrappers each with printed paper title labels and housed in a later cloth slip case. Wrappers with some mild signs of wear, text with a couple of spots of very minor worming but overall in very good original condition with strong impressions of the woodcuts.
First edition. Rare important xylographically printed work which is extensively illustrated with about 250 woodcut views and maps, of which about 170 are double-page. The work contains double page maps of China and Korea including the provinces of the Qing Empire and a map of Peking. The woodcut illustrations include ones of famous landmarks such as the Forbidden City, the astronomical observatory of Peking (established by the Jesuits Johann Adam Schall and Ferdinand Verbiest), the Great Wall, topographical views including cities, towns and landscapes, palaces and members of the royal family, temples with religious ceremonies, Chinese costumes and customs, markets with merchants, military scenes and weapons, scientific and musical instruments etc. The text describes the sights and scenes shown by the woodcuts and the history, arts and literature of China. Kerlen, Catalogue of the Pre-Meiji Japanese Books and Maps, 1077.
‘‘This work contains many city plans and maps of China provinces. The illustrations… depict mostly topographical views: natural, archaeological or sacred sites… and palaces, or historical and legendary scenes based on classical literature’’ (Western Travellers in China 54).