Notes: An autobiographical account of Japanese theater pioneers Kawakami Otojiro and Kawakami Sadayakko's first tour of the West, including the United States, London, and Paris in 1899 and 1900. On the West Coast part of their tour, the Kawakamis' troupe performed for mostly Japanese audiences, but as they moved East, they adapted their performances to emphasize dance and physical theater that would be intelligible to audiences that had never before seen a Japanese play.
Sadayakko, a geisha, soon entranced Western audiences with her dancing and affecting acting. The Kawakamis were nearly broke when they landed in the United States; by the end of the tour they were international sensations, feted by the rich and powerful. Sadayakko inspired prints, kimonos, and other products marketed using her name (if not her permission).
This volume is illustrated with 11 leaves (22 pages) of reproductions of woodcuts of scenes from the tour and of the plays, often with English captions. Otojiro published two books in 1901 about their adventures; this is the second; it is also the longest and the rarest (one copy in OCLC, in Japan, 673732459).
11, 85,  leaves (22, 170, 2 pages), printed fukuro-toji style (on one side of a folded sheet), sewn in traditional style at the spine, with paper title labels in English and Japanese.
For more on the Kawakamis, see Lesley Downer's Madame Sadayakko: The Geisha Who Bewitched the West (2003).
Edition + Condition: First edition. A very good copy, in the original paper covers with a light, old stain at a lower corner, and a two-inch split to the back cover near the spine. There is a contemporary label from the Paris foreign-language bookstore, Boyeau & Chevillet mounted to the inside back cover.
Publication: Osaka: Kanao Bun'endo, 1901 [Meiji 34].
Item No: #361957