Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SOLD- turn-of-the-century Japanese/English textbooks- $34/pair

i came across these two softcover books in south king county a while back, and feel like i accidentally stumbled upon a hidden trove of magnificent and historical artwork. these aren't anything like your mom's old textbooks (though i guess i don't know your mom), and they're certainly unlike the grungy, dull volumes from our day. the book with the tan sleeve (underneath the protective sleeve is a brilliant blue cover, imprinted with golden ink) is a business correspondence text that dates to 1917. the pages are filled with examples of all manner of traditional business writings- letters, memos, sales reports, shipping receipts, accounting ledgers, and on and on. all translated from japanese to english. there's even a few grainy black and white photos showing students at the American School of Correspondence in Tokyo. the blue grammar book, circa 1906, is chock full of adjectives, nouns, verbs, pronouns and adverbs. pretty much what you'd expect from a grammar book. what's unexpected, however, is the beauty in which it's all presented. you don't need to be able to read Japanese to understand how lovely these books are... it would be almost criminal to tear apart the antique yellowing pages, but these sure would make gorgeous wallpaper.

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