1904/05. The Wood family guest book & "Chit Book". These were records maintained by Minnie Wood, wife of the U.S. military attaché in Tokyo during the Russo / Japanese war. The "Chit Book" which records the date and description of items received at the residence, either signed or stamped by the deliverer. The pair of items read like a Who's Who of Japanese royalty and military figures, all of whom signed in Japanese script, annotated in English, adding their rank and position. Western notables are listed below.
There are 117 autographs throughout the guest book, recording 51 Japanese, 47 American, 12 Australian and foreign, and 7 war correspondents. There are also four carte-de-visite photos.
Minnie has titled her guest book on the first page- "Minnie W. N. Wood Tokyo Japan 1904 Autographs". Autographs include:
The Japanese field Marshal Iwao Oyama and his family including the son Takashi, who sadly died in an explosion a few years later;
Norton Ellsworth Wood 2nd lieutenant, Artillery corps;
Viscount Kitajima, the Minister of Imperial Household of the HM t;he Empress of Japan;
Nabeshima Naohiro the 11th (and final) daimyo of Saga Domain;
Michinosi Nagasaki the director of supply to the Royal Household Dated July 12th 1904;
Y. Nakano whose son was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army, WW2, commanding Japanese ground forces in the Southwest Pacific during the closing months of the war;
Ito Hirobumi, original name Toshisuke, Prime Minister of Japan;
Major Sir Alexander Bannerman, 11th Baronet (16 December 1871 – 10 March 1934) was a pioneer British military aviator;
T. Yamaguchi (presumably the father of Tamon who served during the Second Sino-Japanese War and in the Pacific War during World War II;
Lieut. Col. W.J.N. Oldershaw, 1st. Australian Infantry Reg. and captain of the Australian rifle team;
Mrs. Pershing, (signed in person) wife of General John Pershing;
Mrs. MacArthur, mother of Douglas MacArthur; Viscount Aoki; H.E. Count Matsukata; HE. Marquis Ito; Lady Mac Donald; Col. Hoad;
George Kennan and wife, cousin of the grandfather and perhaps namesake of George Frost Kennan, the American diplomat and historian known for his successful advocacy of a “containment policy” to oppose Soviet expansionism and Pulitzer Prize winning author. Their signatures include photographs of their cottage Breton Cottage in Baddeck Bay, Nova Scotia;
F. Brinkley, the author of the photographically illustrated "Japan. Described and Illustrated By the Japanese", also signed by his wife Yasu Brinkley;
Captain Tanaka of Imperial Headquarters & Captain Goydaka (?) War Department;
Major General Sir John Hoad, Chief of staff attached by Australia to the Japanese Army;
Richard H. Leute of the Chicago Daily News and "sometimes with the Russian Army", with a note at the bottom, "Russian Prisoners";
Florence Gardiner Hall, decorated by the Queen of Belgium for work with the Y.M.C.A. during World War I & correspondent with Gen. John Pershing in 1935;
Herbert H.D. Peirce, who was named by Theodore Roosevelt to be Third Assistant Secretary of State and in this capacity, made arrangements for the 1905 conference in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, between the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan at the end of the Russo-Japanese War that resulted in the Treaty of Portsmouth.
There are also seven autographs of the Press correspondents who where in Tokyo covering the War including Reginald Glossor of the Yorkshire Post & Grant Wallace, San Francisco Bulletin & Booklovers Magazine with pen and ink caricature of him " watching the Taming of the BEAR".
Chit Book, with "Mrs O.E. Wood No. 3. Aoicho, Tokyo." tooled in gold on the cover. The first entry is for July 2nd, 1904, and extends through April 27th, 1905. 63 lined pages of names of people who have sent something to the residence. The entries are mostly in the hand of Mrs. Wood with the date first, the person's name, followed by a number & type of items delivered then either a signature of the deliverer or stamp. Stamps include US Legation, AOB, The Imperial Hotel, etc. and mostly the red wood block stamps by Japanese agents of their employer. Minnie classified items as "Notes, Letters, Packages, Photographs & Books.
7 1/2 x 8 3/4 inch leather bound, 150pp, interleaved with pink blotting paper, 63 pages of names of people who have delivered an item to the Wood residence.
Oliver Ellsworth Wood (1844-1910) enlisted as a Private in the Cavalry in 1862, and after serving one year was appointed to the United States Military Academy. Upon graduation in 1867 he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. In 1904, he was sent to the Tokyo Embassy, where he served four years as Military Attaché. He retired from the army as a Brigadier General. He was sent to the Tokyo Embassy, where he served four years as Military Attaché. He was the author of several books, including "The West Point Scrap Book: A Collection of Stories, Songs, and Legends of the United States Military Academy" and "From the Yalu to Port Arthur : an epitome of the first period of the Russo-Japanese war".
Small 4to, approx. 200 pages, more than half filled with autographs, rounded corners, all edges gilt. Nicely respined in brown quarter leather, gilt title label with the original speckled boards, autographs with 4 photos (2 of Nova Scotia, a street market scene in Japan and an island taken from shipboard), very good condition (with) the "Chit Book", 8vo album, 150pp, full brown leather binding with gilt title and border on front board, quite rubbed at extremes.
A fascinating pair of records of the U.S. presence in Japan at the time of the Russo-Japanese war. Item #26960