KAEMPFER, ENGELBERT. 1651-1716.
The History of Japan, Giving an Account of the Ancient and Present State and Government of that Empire ... Together with a Description of the Kingdom of Siam ... Translated From [the] Original Manuscript, Never Before Printed, by J.G. Scheuchzer. London: For the Translator, 1727.
2 volumes. Folio (336 x 202 mm). , lii, 392,  pp; , 393-612, 76,  pp. List of subscribers, titles in red and black. With additional engraved title and 45 engraved plates and maps (39 folding). Modern mottled calf, spines gilt in compartments, marbled endpapers. Old dampstain and cockling to text of volume 1, light spotting to titles, several repairs and tears (mostly marginal) to gatherings A-C, plates in excellent condition overall with a few plates shaved, a few stub tears, 2 captions with loss.
Provenance: 2 leaves of manuscript notes headed "Notes ... taken for Amusement in ye Govt, Jany 1786" bound at front of vols 1 & 2; Professor John D. Goheen (by descent to current owner).
FIRST EDITION. Kaempfer was a physician for the Dutch East India trading settlement at Nagasaki in the late 17th century. His work was the first scholarly treatment of Japan, and it remained the most important source of information on that country until the middle of the 19th century. Sir Hans Sloane acquired the manuscript after Kaempfer's death and had it translated into English for this first edition. The present copy originates from the library of Professor John D. Goheen, who was instrumental in establishing Stanford University's exchange program in Tokyo. He was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Japanese government in 1962, for his contributions to Japanese-American cultural and educational relations. Cordier Bibliotheca Japonica pp 414-15.