Lot 272 of 364:
1st book by the first Asian American novelist  

Click image to enlarge
Lot closed - unsold
$300 - $500

Miss Nume of Japan / A Japanese-American Romance

Watanna, Onoto

Chicago and New York

Rand McNally



Illustrated with 8 photographs of Japanese women, including the frontispiece, which also has an inset photo of the author. (12mo), original decorative cloth binding with paste-on color drawing.  Probable First Edition. No priority has been established, but a variant binding in orange cloth with the frontispiece photo reproduced on the front cover instead of the rickshaw drawing on this copy is probably a later printing.

The author’s first book, often called the first Asian-American novel.  Onoto Watanna is the pseudonym of Winnifred Eaton.

Winnifred and her sister Edith, who came to America via Canada, were of mixed race, their mother Chinese, their father British. As such. both sisters were literary pioneers: Using a Chinese pseudonym, Edith wrote the first periodical stories of Chinatown by a Chinese American (1897 listing) but only one book, an anthology of Chinese children’s stories (1912 listing).  Winnifred, pretending to be Japanese - a more popular cultural identiy in America at the time - chose a Japanese pseudonym and, beginning with “Miss Nume”, published more than 15 books, mostly on romanticized Japanese themes (as well as the first Asian-American cookbook, 1914 listing).

Lot Amendments

Spine slightly sunned; near fine.

Item number:
Shipping info:

We have a full service shipping department to ensure proper packing and safe delivery of purchases at reasonable cost. We are specialists at packing and shipping books and works on paper.   All lots purchased by the same client are combined for shipping in order to keep the cost as economical as possible.  Our preferred method for domestic shipments is UPS Ground but we can also ship via FedEx or USPS Priority Mail. We do NOT ship USPS Media Mail under any circumstances.For international orders we select the most appropriate carrier depending on the value and weight of the items purchased.  We are happy to accommodate special arrangements by request.

Invoices are sent out the day following the auction and include a minimum $10 handling fee plus actual shipping and insurance charges.

Shipping estimates can be obtained  by contacting [email protected] prior to the auction.


Terms and conditions


All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.


A buyer's premium of 20% will be applied to all purchases.


The person posting the bids online has to be the person who has registered for the auction.