A Wartime Biography of Japanese Polar Explorer, in Jacket
[Lt. Shirase's Explorations] Shirase chui tankenki
Notes: Technically the second edition of Shirase Nobu's biography (1861–1946), including an account of the Chishima Islands expedition in the Arctic, as well as of the first Japanese Antarctic Expedition, which Shirase led from 1910 to 1912. The first edition of this book was reproduced from typescript in 1940 in an edition of 15 copies (according to Shirase bibliographer Chet Ross). This commercially published edition includes a few halftone photos not published in the original. Shirase chui tankenki was published during the Second World War on poor-quality paper, in very thin covers, and few copies have survived.
Shirase, who is now counted among the early polar explorers, was unable to secure government funding for his expedition, and thus turned to private sponsors. When he returned to Japan, he achieved a small amount of fame, but spent the rest of his life paying off the expedition's debt, and he died in poverty.
13, , [4 halftone plates], [2 leaves, reproducing maps], 414,  pages.
Edition + Condition: First printing of the first trade edition. A very good copy in thin decorative paper-covered boards, in the little known dust jacket, with a design matching the boards. The jacket is tanned and is missing a half-inch square from the rear panel.
The copy sold by Potter and Potter (October 20, 2022; $3600) was in much rougher condition and lacked the jacket. The book may have been issued in a paper slipcase, but I have not found reference to one if they existed.
Publication: Tokyo: Daichisa, 1942.
Item No: #362513