As noted earlier, I have in my collection of books a number of novelistic accounts of the Opium War that appeared in the bakumatsu period. These include: Kaigai shinwa (New Stories from Overseas); Kaigai shinwa shūi (Gleanings from the New Stories from Overseas); Kaigai yowa (Additional Stories from Overseas); Kaigai jitsuroku (Veritable Records from Overseas), which is a rendering of the katakana text of the Kaigai yowa into hiragana and with the addition of illustrations; and Shin-Ei kinsei dan (Recent Tales of China and England). All were published in the Kaei reign period (1848–54); only the retitled edition of the Kaigai jitsuroku appeared later in Ansei 2 (1855).a Inasmuch as publication of the Ahen shimatsu was not permitted until the Shōwa period, it seems that these novelistic treatments of the Opium War were not widely published at the time of their composition.
KeywordsOpium Verse Mete
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