Edward King diary on trips to Nagasaki and Ningbo Important work written prior to July 1859 opening of Nagasaki
[Japan][China] Unique, primary resource almost certainly written by Edward King (c1817-1875), an American silk and tea merchant based in Shanghai. The first part of the diary covers his departure from Shanghai to Nagasaki on March 15, 1859 and his return on April 6th. He mentions the voyage, the terrible food on board, and then on Nagasaki writes about the customs officials, the difficulty of changing currency, silk products, shopping, a drunk Chinese interpreter (whose business card is affixed in the diary), and an important description of Nagasaki itself and Desima [Dejima]. He also decribes the people of Nagasaki, some customs, and the entertainment he witnessed. He even wrote a two-page English-Japanese vocabulary which is surprisingly good except for a bizarre definition of how to say, 'tomorrow' in Japanese. On his Ningbo trip (April 28 - May 12, 1859) he decribes what he sees and his visit to a tea plantation. A complete transcript of the diary is available on request. King mentions the names of the ships he travelled on, their captains, as well as dates, and the North China Herald newspaper passenger lists confirm Edward King was the only passenger named who was on three of the four voyages (we were unable to find any reference to his 4th voyage back to China). In the diary King also affixed various woodblock prints he no doubt purchased whilst in Nagasaki along with a large fold-out map of Nagasaki and a Japanese treasury note pinned in. This is quite possibly the only pre-July 1859 Nagasaki diary not in a museum or other institution.
Nagasaki - 46pp of text, 2pp vocabulary, 25pp of mostly woodblock printed illustrations, 1 fold-out map, 1 loose woodblock printed paper model of a theatre. Ningbo - 41pp of text, 26 blank pages at end, 2 woodblock printed diptychs pasted in at the end. 17.9 x 11.5cm.
In very good condition. General age wear and most of the woodblock prints are slightly larger than the diary so are bent at edges. Map has a few old holes. b33040934