Isabella Bird and Japan: A Reassessment
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256pp. September 2016
Isabella Bird and Japan: A Reassessment
Author: Kanasaka, Kiyonori;
This significant new assessment of Isabella Bird and her travels by Japan’s leading scholar on the subject sets out to show as mistaken the accepted view - not just in Japan but also in the UK and US - that Bird’s original work, Unbeaten Tracks in Japan in two volumes, derived from letters that she wrote from her travels to her sister in her native England. The author places the journeys that are the real basis of her work in the context of her travels as a whole and corrects the prevailing notion that these were journeys made on her own. With the help of Sir Harry Parkes, British Minister in Japan at the time, Bird set out to establish the true essence of Japan going first to northern Honshu and Ezo, and subsequently, in addition to her stay in Tokyo, to Kyoto, the Ise Shrines, Kobe and the Sanda region, spending a total of seven months in Japan. Also included is an introduction to the woman herself and a brief summary of her worldwide travels. Supported by detailed maps, this volume offers a highly illuminating view of Japan and its people in the year of her visit, 1878, as well as providing a valuable new focus on what is widely considered as Bird’s most important work.

12 plates

For sale in US, Canada, and Asia (excluding Japan)


Distributed for Renaissance Books
Author: Kanasaka, Kiyonori;



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