Japanese fairy tales
Printed in colour by hand from Japanese wood blocks. The boy who drew cats. The Goblin Spider. The old woman who lost her dumpling. Chin-Chin Kobakama. The fountain of youth. Philadelphia : Macrae-Smith Company, after 1922. Cloth folding case in the Japanese style with title label containing five crepe paper publications from the famous firm of Hasegawa in Tokyo. Pale foxing to the box, the books with a small stain upper edge else in fine condition.
Hasegawa began publishing his Japanese Fairy Tales series in the 1880s and continued through until the 1930s. Dating particular editions is notoriously difficult as the publisher often reissued volumes with old dates or addresses despite operating from new premises. Lafcadio Hearn was of the principal translators of the Japanese tales into English, he died in 1904 while working on a second series of fairy tales for Hasegawa. The fountain of youth, included in this collection, was first published in 1922 which allows us to date the set to being probably mid 1920s.
Reference : SHARF, Frederic A. Takejiro Hasegawa : Meiji Japan’s pre-eminent publisher of woodblock illustrated crepe-paper books. Peabody Essex Museum Collections, vol. 130, No. 4, October 1994.