American history via Edo Japan

Someone recently stumbled across a book on US History published in Japan in 1861. Someone really needs to do a full English translation!

It’s an interesting perspective. American textbooks tend to focus on John Adams’ role in the Continental Congress and as our second President. But this textbook instead focuses on how John Adam’s mother was eaten by a giant snake and Adams summoned a giant eagle with the help of a friendly fairy so he and the eagle could kill the snake in battle. You really need to learn both sides to get an understanding of this complex figure in American history.

“Book of American history” titled “Children’s Illustrated Tales from 10,000 Countries” mind you.

I wonder if the image of Ben Franklin holding that cannon influenced Forrest Tucker’s characyer in The Deerslayer:;_ylt=A2KIbNPDMPBbWRQAyTtXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0N2Noc21lBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNwaXZz?p="The+Deerslayer"+forrest+Tucker+movie+posters&fr2=piv-web&fr=yfp-t#id=29&;_ylt=A2KLfR4fMfBba2wADYpXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0N2Noc21lBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNwaXZz?p="The+Deerslayer"+forrest+Tucker&fr2=piv-web&fr=yfp-t#id=92&

I think his character dies as a result of doing this.

My edition of the script of Rashomon has, among its illustrations, one from a book illustrating Mathew Peary’s “opening of Japan”. It looks like this:

For the record, Peary really looked like this:

Another Japanese print is bit more accurate:

That’s less photorealistic and more, “Look, this guy’s a foreigner”, with the big nose, and all the hair.

In China, and by extension, Japan 10,000 is sort of a magic number denoting “everything there is.”

Sure, but the more important part is “Children’s illustrated tale”.

For an actual look at how American history was perceived it would be more interesting to look at the book’s sources: