Lot 267 of 364:
1st Japanese-American illustrator and the first two Japanese immigrant memoirs  

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Lot closed - unsold
$300 - $500

1st Japanese-American illustrator and the first two Japanese immigrant memoirs





  • [Aoki] Wood, John W. “The Romance of Yono-San." The Californian Illustrated Magazine, (San Francisco, Aug. 1893, complete issue). Original wrappers (edges chipped). Illustrated with 4 drawings by T.[oshio] Aoki. 
  • Sono, Tel . The Japanese Reformer / An Autobiography (New York: Hunt & Eaton, 1891) Second Edition. Original red cloth. Frontispiece photo of the author. Signed. Covers soiled; front hinge cracked, ownership signature.
  • Kenzo Uchimura. The Diary of a Japanese Convert (New York:Fleming H. Revell Company, c.1895)  Probable First Edition. Original decorative cloth. Frontispiece portrait of the author. Ownership stamp.

The probable first periodical illustration by a Japanese American artist, and first two autobiographical memoirs by Japanese immigrants to the US.

This Californian article and an obscure 1891 travel book appear to be the only published illustrations of Aoki, the most popular Japanese-American artist and newspaper illustrator in San Francisco in the late 19th century.  (He later became adoptive father of Tsuru Aoki, actress wife of movie star Sessue Hayakawa) Sono and Uchimura both lived in America for a time in the 1880s before returning to their native Japan. Sono, the first Japanese woman lawyer, was a missionary and social worker in San Francisco and New York. Uchimura, a Christian convert, lived in the US before returning to his homeland to become a Christian evangelist (and unpopular pacifist). Only a portion of the Sono and Uchimura memoirs concern their American sojourn, as does the longer autobiography of Joseph Heco (published in 1892-95 in 2-volumes almost indistinguishable from a 1950s reprint).  Jenichiro Oyabe (1898 listing below) wrote the first full length autobiography of a Japanese in America.

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