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An 1861 Japanese Book of American History



Here is Washington and his wife "Carol" meeting an extremely youthful Benjamin Franklin, who has an impressive squat.

The Japanese book Osanaetoki Bankokubanashi (童絵解万国噺) was published in 1861. It's a children's book of American history. The author and illustrator used secondary sources, as neither had been to America. East Asian historian Nick Kapur posted the more intriguing images at Twitter, with explanations for what we see.



But then! While John Adams is too obsessed with the food and drink, a huge snake comes along and eats his mom! Maybe the snake was a child of that other snake John Adams killed, or maybe it was sent by Ben Franklin as part of their feud?



Together, John Adams and the eagle kill the enormous snake that ate his Mom. The power of teamwork!!!

That's just a taste of what Kapur has in his Twitter thread. Don't miss George Washington punching a tiger and meeting the goddess of America. You can see all the illustrations from the book (with no translations) at the Waseda University Library.

-Thanks, WTM!


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I visited the Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, TX this week and samples of the Japanese war propaganda found therein aren't all that different from what we see here. BTW, this is a world-class museum since Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander of the Pacific Theater after Pearl Harbor, was born there. Highly recommended for the war buff and/or historian.
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