Alas, I have only found two of the forty two online, but those two are quite fascinating. The first appears to depict two South American Indians, perhaps Amazonian judging by their dress, while the second portrays a "Native American Patagonian giant." I would be fascinated to learn what the accompanying Japanese text has to say about these and other New World cultures. If anyone reading this has any further information, please contact me!
"Two South American Indians" in Nishikawa Joken, Shijûni-koku Jinbutsu zusetsu (Kyoto, 1720). Xylograph print on paper with hand coloring, 31.1 x 18.2 cm.
"Patagonian Giant" in Nishikawa Joken, Shijûni-koku Jinbutsu zusetsu (Kyoto, 1720). Xylograph print on paper with hand coloring, 31.1 x 18.2 cm.
I have yet to read this particular work, but according to the JCB's online catalog entry the great historian Charles Boxer touches upon these images in his work Jan Compagnie in Japan, 1600-1850, pg. 18-19. A cursory Google search of Joken's name also turns up this interesting-looking recent essay on Merchants and Society in Tokugawa Japan by Charles D. Sheldon.Tweet