改正商売往来: 画引新撰 Kaisei Shobai Orai: Kakubiki Shinsen (Revised Business Traffic: New Pictorial Selection)
大阪 (Osaka): 赤志忠雅堂 (Akashi Chugado), Meiji 16 . Softcover. 16mo. 4 3/4x 3 1/2". Unpaginated. 36  double-fold leaves. Period string-bound textured green paper wrappers, with black lettering on a pink label pasted on the front cover.
This extremely scarce work is the revised version of the Japanese business and commerce handbook "Business Traffic". This edition, unlike most others, is profusely illustrated throughout with countless small colored copperplate-engraved images of commerce and commercial retail items of all kinds, acting as a sort of pictographic reference guide. Commercial products are organized throughout according to category, and range widely from food, live animals, domestic products of all kinds, musical instruments, produce, textiles and clothing, to umbrellas, clocks, stationary, cookware, weaponry and equestrian equipment, among many others. Japanese text throughout is printed in both the Kanji (Chinese characters) and their phonetic transliteration into Hiragana. Text and images are printed in a four column format on the bottom half of every page.
Editions of this business handbook, and many other similar works were released during the Meiji period, when Japan was rapidly emerging out of its feudal and isolationist past and into a modern global commercial and capitalist society. The Japanese commercial tradition had existed for many centuries previous, and relevant business and commerce handbooks are known to have been produced prior to the Meiji period. However, it is this era of handbooks that can be said to in many ways constitute the basis of modern Japanese business practice up until today, and the emergence of the now ubiquitous concept of the "Japanese businessman". Most of the similar works of the period were not usually illustrated to this extent, if at all.
Images at the front and rear, contain delightful illustrations depicting a number of shops and commercial expositions. These are comprised of the illustrated title page (double-page spread), a depiction of the Souvenir Expo Shen Dainozu (double-page spread), and an image of the original storefront of the publisher of the book, here listed as the Naniwa Shinsaibashi Dori Commercial Takamoriyuki Zu (single page), all at the front. The two-page spread at the back includes a depiction of the Machiya Shigemasayuki Zu, with publication information on the left side.
Wrappers with minor rubbing to the corners, as well as some light staining and smudging to the covers. Interior with the most minor sporadic smudging to the top and bottom margins of a few leaves. Wrappers in very good, interior in very good+ condition overall. Extremely scarce. vg to vg+. Item #49362
Alternate publisher name: 赤志忠七板
*OCLC lists only one copy worldwide.