Lot 274 of 364:
Onoto Watanna collection, novels and autobiography  

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Lot closed - unsold
$400 - $600

6 volumes by Onoto Watanna (pseudonym of Winnifred Eaton)

Watanna, Onoto

Various places

Various publishers



A collection of early fiction by the first Asian-American novelist, one with a particularly scarce author's inscription. - Watanna rarely signed copies of her 16 books.


• The Love of Azalea (NY, Dodd, Mead, 1904) First Edition. Illustrated with color plates by Gazo Foudji. Inscribed on flyleaf; “For Mr. and Mrs. P. Alllen Dutton Parsons. With the best wishes of the author. Onoto Watanna. New York City, 1919” • A Japanese Nighingale (Harper, NY, c.1902) Later Edition. Illustrated with 3 color plates and text decoration by Genjiro Yeto.
• The Heart of Hyacinth. (Harper, NY, 1904) Later Edition. Illustrated with 4 color plates and text decorations by Kiyokichi Sano.
• Japanese Blossom (Harper, NY, 1906) First Edition. Illustrated with 4 color plates by L.W.Ziegler, though the page decorations were signed by Yeto and Sano.
• Tama (Harper, NY, 1910) First Edition. Illustrated with 4 color plates by Genjiro Kataoka [Yeto]
• (Anonymous) Me, A Book of Remembrance (Century, 1915) First Edition Foreward by Jean Webster. Original cloth.

Like her sister, Edith, the pioneering author (as “Sui Sin Far”) of Chinatown fiction, Winnifred Eaton was the daughter of a British father and Chinese mother, both sisters coming to the United States by way of Canada. Winnifred’s 1899 novel, Miss Nume of Japan (1899 listing above) is often called the first Asian-American novel – though by a writer who pretended to be of Japanese parentage and chose a Japanese pseudonym to write 9 Japanese-theme novels,. Her anonymous 1915 fictionalized autobiography made no mention at all of her mixed-race parentage.

Eaton’s early novels are particularly notable for their beautiful covers, text designs, and early illustrations by Japanese-American artists, two of whom became renowned in after-years: French-trained Gazo Foudji designed pottery lines for the famed Roseville Pottery Company, as well as stained glass lamps and windows, and illustrated articles for Ladies Home Journal. Genjiro Yeto, of the Cos Cob Artists Colony, illustrated poet Yone Noguchi’s pseudonymous 1902 novel (1897-1902 listing) and probably the first periodical and book printings of the story that became the basis for Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.

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Lot Amendments

Wear to extremities; overall very good.

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