by ASANO, Kozo (or Naotaka), author; OKADA, Gyokuzan, artist
Four double-page & one single-page woodcuts. 87 folding leaves. Small oblong 8vo, orig. patterned blue wrappers, orig. block-printed title-label on upper cover. Osaka & Kyoto: Seishichi Shikata, 1850. Second edition; the first was published in 1806. Both editions are very rare, and we find no copy of our edition in WorldCat. The well-known artist Okada Gyokuzan (1737-ca. 1812), illustrated both editions. Asano (active 1805), wrote several other works on gastronomic subjects, including one on vinegared sea products. Kaiseki ryori is the traditional multicourse haute cuisine. Its origins are found many centuries ago in the simple meals served at the tea ceremony, but later it evolved into an elaborate dining style popular in aristocratic circles. Kaiseki meals have a prescribed order to their dishes, but kaiseki chefs have considerable freedom to add, omit, or substitute courses in order to highlight regional and seasonal delicacies and personal style. The recipes and dishes described here are arranged by season and category of dish, with suggestions of harmonious combinations. The categories include pickles, hors d'oeuvres, broiled fish or meat, braised vegetables, soups, etc. The first woodcut, single-page, is a charming illustration of a cornucopia of foods including seafoods, vegetables, mushrooms, shellfish, etc. The first double-page woodcut shows a samurai and other guests waiting to enter the dining chamber. The next double-page woodcut shows guests entering a tea ceremony room. There is a rack for swords, as no weapons were allowed, and a basin to wash the hands. The third woodcut shows the host serving three of his guests. The final woodcut depicts another scene in a different room, of the host and guests and others relaxing and nibbling. Fine copy.
(Inventory #: 6893)