滋賀 (Shiga): (滋賀新聞会社) Shiga Shinbun Kaisha, 1876. Softcover. Octavo. Approx. 6x8.5" Unpaginated. 22 leaves. Blue paper string-tied wrappers with black lettering over a white paper label on the front cover. This fascinating work on color theory was first published in Japan starting in 1873, and was required learning for art students in the fourth grade. This edition of the work was published by the Shiga Newspaper Company, for schools in the Shiga Prefecture. During the Meiji Era, when Japan went through major rapid modernization and societal change, education just as much as other aspects of society became highly influenced by western theory and practice. Hand-colored throughout.
The work introduces the concepts of Isaac Newton's work on the color spectrum and purportedly utilized previously existing American educational materials. The front of the book contains a detailed color chart (including more than 35 shades of color), color wheel (in a venn diagram style) representing the realtionship between primary and secondary colors, and a diagram of the light spectrum, all hand-colored. The educational process in the book is organized by each color of the spectrum, with each section having it own painted color block. Additionally, each section is defined by a series of questions and answers, posed to the students. Examples include such questions as "What color is sunlight?", "There are seven colors in the rainbow. What are those colors?". The book contains publisher's information for ordering the work for Osaka and Kyoto prefectures at the back. Text in Japanese.
Wrappers sunned, and with rubbing to corners. White paper label on the front cover with some tears, creasing and light chipping. Some worming to the covers and throughout the text, mostly in the margins but still affecting the text and a few of the woodblock images. Small yellow paint stain (probably from the original art students) present at the top of the final page. Wrappers and interior in good- condition overall. Protected by modern mylar. Quite scarce. g-. Item #43395