Know'st thou the land where lemon-trees do bloom?

One Hundred Japanese Books for Children (1868-1945) -- in English, with descriptions and pictures. Go on. Click. It's Friday. Here are a few that caught my eye:

  • Kimi yo shiru ya, minami no kuni (1926) -- The title is a reference to Goethe's "Kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen blühn", and "illustrations of beautiful girls with a somewhat sad countenance" are heavily featured. If this book were any more Taishō it would die of consumption.
  • Jagaa no me (1928) -- "The protagonist is Kuroda Morio, a boy whose father was a Japanese colonel and mother was an offspring of the Incan Empire. He and Kyôshin'ô (an offspring of Qing dynasty), Chôya (Kyôshin'ô's man), Kinka (a daughter between Kyôshin'ô and a Japanese woman), and an mixed blooded Indian confront the Jaguar and his soldiers, and seize the treasure of the Incan Empire. This story owes much to action movies [...]: the setting in San Francisco and Arizona, a disguise, a kidnapping, a circus, cowboys, poisonous gas, car and motorboat chases, hard action, quick change of scenes, and so on." ("And so on"? What else could there be?!)
  • Sekai kunizukushi (1869) -- "An elementary book of geology written for the enlightenment of 'women and children' during the Meiji era." Transcriptions of the text up top.
  • Akai hata (1930) -- Poetry for children, quickly banned, because "[f]olktales and nursery rhymes are parodied, animals such as horse, sparrow, parrot and goat are used as symbols of exploited laborers, and expressions like directly giving cheers for the proletariat can be found here and there." The Korean on the cover is interesting; I assume Makimoto's intention was to signal solidarity rather than approve of Japan's imperialist activities on the continent.
  • Momotaro, or, Little Peachling (1885) -- Yep, in translation. Read the whole thing online.

Popularity factor: 2


Hmm. The couple of books I looked at had image links of this sort:


So how do I go about getting their H: drive?


Ah.. sorry about that. The links from the Japanese version of each page (available by clicking "Japanese" under the title, sometimes hidden at the bottom of the frame if the title is too long) are more likely to work, it seems.

Comment season is closed.