A most compelling and complete Dutch-Japanese dictionary and phrasebook, published in Japan in the transitional moment between the Kōka and Kaei eras in the years before the Meiji restoration and the end of Japan's isolationist policies. The two-volume dictionary would have been of great value to either a Dutch or Japanese reader, though given the structure, it was most certainly published for the use of a Japanese traveler or diplomat. First written by Chūryō Morishima in the 18th century, this is the first edition of the expanded and supplemented edition, prepared by Genpo Mitsukuri, physician and scholar of Dutch culture in feudal service to the Tokugawa shogunate. Mitsukuri wrote numerous works in medicine, astronomy, and linguistics. His English was reportedly very good, and he was known to have translated letters from American presidents. The Kaisei zōho Bangosen reflects Mitsukuri's extensive and varied learning, as well as his appreciation for Dutch culture and language. The book is divided into sections with topics such as Annual Events, Humanities, Geography, Astronomy, and so on; within each topic the words and phrases are listed alphabetically in Japanese with the Dutch translation in a fine, legible cursive. An interesting and uncommon artifact of the later history of Japan-Netherlands relations, here presented in original and unrestored condition.
Edo: Kenjuku kankō, 1848.
Fukurotoji four-hole pouch binding, 184 x 124 x 12 mm (each volume). Printed daisen to upper covers of each volume. Text printed on double leaves, within a single border, 154 pp. (vol I), 136 pp. (vol II). Silk thread broken on second volume, but binding integral and sound; wear to covers; caps abraded; small worm trail affecting head margin of last few leaves of second volume; both daisen abraded with loss. A good set, in contemporary, unsophisticated condition.
LC: PL681.D8; OCLC accesssion: 52622698.