Let's speak American

Have I linked to this before? The ONO Hideo Collection, aflame with Edo media, or "Edodia" as specialists call it (in my imagination). Of particular interest are all the pictorial shinbun ("newspapers", literally means "new hearings") from back in the days when they were just a leaf of paper containing a prurient picture ideally but not necessarily related in some way to the idle gossip, patent falsehoods and cheerful bawdiness ("feigning sleep is called 'playing tanuki'; an ageing courtesan is called an 'old tanuki'") crammed into the gaps.

Some items in the collection concern themselves with things non-Japanese, including this picture of a wonderfully sensitive-looking "Ruslander", and this outrageously spurious Japanese-American glossary. Although the Manjirō it refers to really did end up in America after accident at sea, I can only hope that he did not actually return convinced that Americans called fish "kyonpō", shamisen (!) "toraneta", or farts "skappon". It is, though, endearing to see that whoever wrote this apparently believed that the Japanese male/female morphemes /[w]o/ and /me/ were universal, because "father" and "mother" are listed as "oranhei" and "meranhei".

Popularity factor: 3


Wow what a sweet collection! It would be interesting to compare articles from these old newspapers with, say, NYT stories on the same issue.


Heh, I was going to make a flip comment about the NY Time's criminally thin coverage of treacherous geisha and double love suicides in Asakusa, but then I realized that you said "issue", not "exact event". That would be an interesting exercise. Someone get me a grant!


Here's a pack of chewing gum. Now get to it!

Comment season is closed.