Madras: The Theosophist Office, Adyar, Madras; Theosophical Publishing Society, 1909. First edition. Hardcover. First edition, with the original printed stiff paper wrappers bound in. A narrative of travels in Tibet between 1897 and 1903. Written by Ekai Kawaguchi (1866 – 1945), a Japanese Buddhist monk, the first recorded Japanese citizen to travel to Tibet. Kawaguchi is known four his journeys to Nepal (1899, 1903, 1905 & 1913), and Tibet (July 4, 1900–June 15, 1902; and 1913–1915). Tibet was officially off limits to all foreigners, but Kawaguchi managed to coss the Himalayas on an unpatrolled path, posing as a Chinese monk and taking almost 4 years to reach Lhasa. This was the first visit to Lhasa by an outsider since the 1844 visit of French missionary Evariste Huc. While there, Kawaguchi devoted himself to pilgrimage and study, mastering classical Tibetan language, and gaining an audience with the 13th Dalai Lama.
Tall 8vo, xvi, 719pp, 11 plates from printed photographs (including one large folding of Mount Gaurishankara at the rear) and one folding sketch map with the author's route from Calcutta north indicated in red. Quarter green cloth and marbled boards. Gilt title on black spine label. Spine label slightly chipped at edges, spine slightly etched, corners slightly rubbed. Gilt bookplate, Charles Bain Hoyt, at front paste down; ffe detached but present. Folding plates at rear in very good condition. OCLC: 560750495. Item #22523