New York: Armstrong, 1884. 8vo. xi [i], 543 pp. FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH. With half-title, 18 illustrations (including 5 photographic plates and 2 folding maps), index and list of illustrations. Original illustrated cloth covers, rebacked; frontispiece loose, plate for “Nagasaki” placed at the end of the text and plate for “Japanese Types” is not attached and laid into book, other plates torn, brittle and chipped, but text very clean. Item #15181
First edition in English. “The first modern scientific study of Japan” by a European is categorized by geography, flora and fauna, climate, history, and ethnography. “The present work is based upon a residence of nearly two years in Japan, and extensive journeys through the islands of Hondo, Shikoku, Kiushiu, and Amakusa, in the years 1874 and 1875” (preface). Sponsored by the Prussian Government (Ministry of Commerce), Rein intended to study Japanese trade and industry during the Meiji Restoration, but discovered that an all-encompassing picture of the country was necessary for economic exchange.
Rein (1835-1918) was a professor of geography at the Universities of Marburg and Bonn, whose research took him around the world. Throughout his illustrious career he traveled to Bermuda, Japan, Spain, Scandinavia, Morocco, America, Canada, and Russian Turkestan. Japan: travels and researches certainly reflects Rein’s interest in geography, as well as his fascination with an exotic culture.