[Japan]: Gyoyo-do, Ansei 2 . Second, but first illustrated edition. 5 vols. T.p., 19; 24; 23; 19; 19 double-ply leaves; with 20 double-page woodblock illustrations in text. 26x18 cm. Text and illustrations within single border, main text ten vertical lines. Original Japanese fukuro toji bindings: brownish paper covers with leaves sewn together with thread and original paper title labels on the front covers. Covers and title labels slightly rubbed and soiled, a mild water stain to several leaves in the end of vol. 5, otherwise a very good set.
Very rare Japanese imprint with only two paper copies of the first edition found in Worldcat (Kaei 4/ 1851, 5 volumes, no illustrations); and only two copies of this second illustrated edition found in Worldcat.
First illustrated edition of the important Japanese novelistic account on the First Opium War between China and Great Britain (1839-1845). “Kaigai Yowa” was a part of the group of Japanese works about the Opium War, published in the late 1840s and based primarily on Chinese reports, starting with Mineta Fuko’s famous Kaigai shinwa [New Stories from Overseas] and Kaigai shinwa shui [Gleanings from the New Stories from Overseas]. “… these publications were strongly sympathetic to the Chinese and highly critical of the foreign “barbarians.” They also included many original woodblock illustrations that had no counterpart on the Chinese side” (Dower, J.W. The Opium War in Japanese Eyes: An Illustrated 1849 “Story from Overseas”/ Massachusetts Institute of Technology). The second edition fo the Kaigai Yowa was forbidden from sale (as follows from the note on the title page) and was intended for libraries.