Food Supply in Japan: 1909 manuscripts of speeches. Japan, Food, Kahe Otani.

Food Supply in Japan: 1909 manuscripts of speeches.

Japan: Ca. 1909. Three annotated manuscripts pertaining to major changes in Japanese society following the Meiji restoration and the embrace of western ideas and products in a period when the government was committed to learning from the West.

Two of the manuscripts have a distinct post war perspective of coming to terms with the need to strengthen food supply independence, with one of the documents comparing the amounts of cereals, comestibles & beverages imported before (1892-1893) and after (1897-1898) the China Japan war and imported before (1903) and after (1906) the Russo-Japanese war (see No. 1 below). The other manuscript makes a post war reference to the fact that T. Kameya's grocery business actually benefited from the last two wars: "the two wars ... have actually given a given a great impetus to the food and drink stuff business" (see No. 2 below).

Includes the following manuscripts, all annotated in pencil, by an editor more fluent in English than the original author. By association with another manuscript, the author of these manuscripts is possibly Kahe Otani, President of the Yokohama Chamber of Commerce, who is recorded (Annual Report of the Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco, 1900) as making a speech at the Pacific Union Club in San Francisco on the subject of Japan - US trade relations.

1. "Food Supply in Japan", letter or address, 3pp, which discusses the Japanese climate, and the introduction of foreign clothing and food ("What will be the effect of the change of food-taking diet comprising both animal food as well as vegetables and fish upon the Japanese people both mentally and physically is a problem worthy (of) investigation"). Also discusses the cultivation of land, list of imports of cereals, comestibles and beverages for 1892 - 1906; items imported for the fiscal year 1909; the demand for beef, and the cultivation of rice in the southern US ("the time will not be far distant when we shall be able to get a cheaper supply of our staple food from the other side of the earth"). Typed/mimeographed, 8 1/2 x 11".

2. T. Kameya & Co. Tokyo letterhead, typed letter, 2pp, concerning Japanese history in the new Meiji Era, the founding of the foreign wine and grocery company by Mr. Kameya, the advent of business with Europe and the US, the construction of the shop on Ginza Street, and a list of US and European companies represented in Japan by T. Kameya. The early part of this letter describes the initial resistance of people to the "sudden influx of western civilization: "The samurai class was still reluctant to obey the law prohibiting them to carry swords on their waist as they used to do; while the general people were obstinate enough to wear top-knots on their heads. In short, they had a great dislike, nay an undescribable (sic) hate, for anything foreign or "savage" as they used to call it". Typed/mimeographed, 9 x 11 1/2".

3. "Tokyo Produce Exchange", handwritten letter, 3pp, discusses the produce exchange, primarily rice, in Tokyo, the history of the exchange (referring to events in the second, 16th, 20th and 41st "year of Meiji"), and its products, including corn, silk threads, salt, artificial manure, cotton, cotton yarn, cotton thread, etc. Records the capital on hand at various times in the exchange's history. Also includes terms of business and a list of Board of Directors and Auditors. Handwritten on lined paper 9 x 13 1/2" Very good condition. Item #22896

Price: $375.00

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