Manuscript travel diary of tours in Japan and return voyage through Shanghai, Hong Kong et al 1875 – 1878


Octavo notebook quarter cloth “ Japan 1875” in pencil to front. Wood cut of Kyoto Daibutsu with Japanese text laid in.
The notebook has been used for various purposes at different times.Iit is all hand written in ink and pencil and in the same legible hand.
1. Journey from Tokyo to Kyoto starting 14th July 1875 mostly walking taking in Uraura, Okegawa, Takasaki, Sakamoto, Oiwake, a tour of the volcano Mt Asama, through the Narai pass. A boat trip on the Kisogawa to Kasamatsu then across Biwa Lake ot Otsu and on to Kyoto (18pp)
2. Journey from Niigata to Tokyo starting 20th August 1875 walking and by boat visiting Nikko, Katakado, Utsunomiya. (7pp)
Both these journeys are covered in some detail with notes of heights above sea level, road and weather conditions, flea riddled inns, observations of scenery etc, as well as notes on people and places. In Niigata he dines with school directors, [Martin ]Wyckoff [ US missionary ] &, Moss & German consul Reissuel. Later he stays at an inn where “ the Grigsby’s [ William & Kate ] were laid up by the baby’s illness”
3. List of purchases art & artefacts including gifts for servants, photos and freight to Tokyo (2pp)
4. A table of the 2 journeys detailed plus a third linking journey details of stops, costs, mileage, baggage etc (6pp)
5. Detailed and full account of “cuigration” [cremation] rituals, process, cost and equipment with 2 sketches at OKami-dani [ near Tokyo ] dated 10 Oct 1877 (17pp) – This passage is strikingly similar although more detailed than Isabella Bird’s account in “Unbeaten Tracks” dated Dec 1878
6. Notes on Japanese timber including prices (2pp)
7. list of curios packed 8th June 1878 (3pp)
8. Extracts from Capt Brown’s notes for voyage from Tokyo to London – suggestions of hotels, places of interest, prices etc (1p)
9. List of ships of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company with dimensions etc (3pp)
10. Voyage from Japan to England via Shanghai, Suez & Marseilles leaving Yokohama 10th July 1878 on the Saikio Maru. Visit to [Robert ] Maclagan at Osaka mint and lunch with “Summers”. The voyage includes accounts of visits to Shanghai Wenzhou, Amoy, Shautou, Hong Kong, Canton, Saigon, Singapore, Galle, Aden, Suez, Port Said ( noted for the brazenness of it’s obscene photo sellers ) and to Marseilles. As well as observations of people and places, there are accounts of passengers, crew and conversations on board. Topics include free love – Capt. Ashton – , the comic view of missionaries taken by the natives, other views of missions, various sailing tales, encounters with other ships including troop ships travelling from Cyprus to India. Names mentioned include Netto Popp, a German who has recently met Miss Bird at Niigata, Mrs Liddle of Glasgow , Padre Ferdinand Sains, Ferguson Black, Dr Robinson & Dr Dennys of Edinburgh, Prof, Ewing, Capt Ashton, 1st Mate McIntyre , Engineer Clements of Glasgow, Capt Napier, Capt Wells. This account includes details of expenses including a final cab fare in Edinburgh (52pp)
11. ( from rear of bookscribbled notes on cremations; a laundry list; sketch of unidentified mountains; Inventory of House properties 16th Nov 1876 R.H. Smith; list of Books (7 pp) many engineering titles. A close reading of the text suggests that the author is R.H. Smith from near Edinburgh who may well be an engineer working with Henry Dyer at the Imperial College of Engineering in Tokyo or on the railways – given the comments on the roads ! There is no indication of much sympathy with missionary work. He visits many of the same places as Isabella Bird, the cremation accounts are from different places but very similar otherwise. Isabella Bird got to Japan in May 1878 “Smith” leaves in July and they appear to have a mutual acquaintance in Netto Popp a German businessman although this can only be speculation

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Author(s) Anon
Illustrator(s) N/A
Publisher(s) unpublished
Published Date 1878
Signature Information N/A
Size Octavo
Book Condition Externally rubbed and marked with loss at spine, text clean and legible although the whole bears the marks of travel, good condition
Jacket Condition N/A
Binding Quarter cloth