Unbeaten Tracks in Japan

Unbeaten Tracks in Japan (日本奥地紀行, Nihon Okuchi Kikō) is a book by the English travel writer Isabella Bird, in the form of letters to her sister, describing her journey from Tokyo to Hokkaido in 1878,[1] when she was 47.[2] It was first published in two volumes in 1880 by John Murray, which later issued an abridged one-volume version in 1885.

Unbeaten Tracks in Japan
Title page for "Unbeaten Tracks in Japan"
The title page for Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, Volume 1, first edition.
AuthorIsabella Bird
PublisherJohn Murray (original), G.P. Putnam's (United States)
Publication date
1880

The book recounts how Bird made the journey with a Japanese interpreter named Ito, visiting places that few or no Westerners had seen before, between June and September 1878. It records in great detail her responses to Japanese houses, clothing and customs, and the natural environment, as they were during the early years of the Meiji Restoration. It also has a long section describing her visits to the Ainu people, and many passages describing what seemed to her the extreme poverty of many Japanese outside the major cities.

Isabella Bird in Wonderland, a manga based on the book, was published in 2015.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Caplinger, William (April 1991). "An Examination of Isabella Bird's Unbeaten Tracks in Japan". Japanese Studies. 11 (1): 44–48. doi:10.1080/10371399108521945.
  2. ^ Webster, Fiona Isabella Bird’s Letters from Japan Nov 4, 2001 The Japan Times Retrieved April 3, 2016

External linksEdit