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Morokoshi Meisho Zue [Illustrated Description of Famous Sites of China].
Selling price: $13000
Sold in 2011
Xylographic printing on mulberry paper. Text in Sino-Japanese with Japanese reading marks facilitating Japanese reading. The work is extensively illustrated with about 250 full-page woodcuts of which about 170 on double-page.
This work reflects the immense veneration of the Japanese educated classes towards Chinese culture.
This informative work is illustrated with historical and legendary scenes, topographical views, palaces, archaeological and sacred sites.
A map of China and Korea is included as well as many city plans, for example of Peking, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall and its gates. Further there are illustrations of costumes, astronomical and musical instruments, the five holy Buddhist mountains, maps of major cities as well as the various provinces of the Qing Empire (1644-1912). Historical events and details from the classical literature are extensively explained. Many illustrations are related to the every-day life of the people, costumes, fire-arms.
Chinese musical instruments and astronomical instruments, imported or made by the Jesuits are also displayed.
The description of the cities refers to their architecture and archeological vestiges. Amongst the most interesting illustrations, let us mention a full map of the Qing Empire of China, a map of Korea, another map of Peking, the Forbidden Imperial City with its impressive entrance gates, the imperial seals, the astronomical observatory of Peking established by the Jesuits Johann Adam Schall and Ferdinand Verbiest, the fascinating Great Wall with its numerous military observation posts.
See also : Bibliotheca Wittockiana, Western Travelers in China Discovering the Middle Kingdom (2009), no. 54.
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