ORIGINAL TITLE Title: Sangoku tsūran zusetsu
MATERIAL: Hand-Written/Painted
TYPE: Manuscript
DIMENSIONS: 6 3/4 X 9 1/4 inches (closed)
COMPONENTS: 92 pages, 33 have fine original sketches & studies
CONDITION: Original covers, contents complete, quite rare.
NOTES: Original.
ITEM ID: 831
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Ainu Manuscript (1781)

DATE
Year: 1781
Decade: 1780s
Century: 18th (1701-1800)
Notes: 1781 or 1785

Japanese manuscript book of an early anthropological work on the Ainu of Exo (the indigenous people of Hokkaido). Volume depicts the Ainu and their culture, including: Ainu Hunting Seals; Ainu Clothing; Ainu Weapons; a rare double page depiction of the Ainu Bear Sacrifice; etc. The text covers the areas of Ezo (early undeveloped Hokkaido), the Northern Territories (Sakhalin, Kamchatka, etc), even parts of Choson (Korea), with some early examples of Hangugeo (the Korean language). The preface is by Hayashi Shinhei.

According to scholar Peter Kornicki, “Hyashi Shihei also wrote the Kaikoku heidan which you have. Sangoku tsūran zusetsu was written out of awareness of the vulnerability of Japan’s borders so he focused on Ezo (Hokkaido and Sakhalin) to the north, Korea to the west and Ryūkyū (Okinawa) to the south-west.”

According to scholar Diego M. Santos, “The title of the book is Sangoku tsūran zusetsu. The preface is by Hayashi Shinhei. One of the pages has the Chinese-Manchu seal of the king of Ryukyu (Okinawa) granted by the Chinese emperor Kangxi! The text says ‘The seal of the king of Ryukyu’ and on the left is its description.””