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33 items found:

KIRMESS, C.H. [i.e. Frank Fox?]. The Australian Crisis. London, Walter Scott 1909. Octavo publisher's printed stiff wrapper; 336pp. A very good copy. Au$250

First edition; issued in cloth or wrappers. One of the classic yellow peril novels, this chronicles - from 1922 looking back to 1912 - the Japanese invasion of Australia - first by wile and cunnning then by war. It is of course a bit more complex, there is social turmoil and political breakdown, civil war and the abandonment, if not betrayal, of Australia by Britain. The central section of the book is the romance of the White Guard - the volunteer militia - and their guerilla warfare against the Japanese in the Northern Territory.

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BEAN, Robert Bennett. The Racial Anatomy of the Philippine Islanders introducing new methods of anthropology .. with a classification of human ears and a scheme for the heredity of anatomical characters in man. Philadelphia &c, Lippincott 1910. Octavo publisher's cloth; 236pp, photo illustrations, diagrams in the text. Ex Parliamentary Library with their gilt crest on front board and stamp on the title but a rather good copy. Au$75

This is Bean's first book - he had published a few papers before this - drawn from three years in the Philippines. Bean and his work is still labelled as 'distinguished'. He certainly wasn't the only anthropologist of his generation to focus on measuring the heads of the darker races - which he did for decades after this - but nowhere can I find an incredulous note that this book proposes the classification of race by ears.

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Teruha toiletry poster. [Hakuresui or Hakureisui]. A shop poster for Hakuresui toiletry to whiten the skin and remove blemishes. Osaka, Takegaki Shokai c1910. Colour lithograph 53x38cm on quite heavy paper. A couple of tiny edge chips, a near invisible repair to a short tear; a rather good copy. Au$1200

Among the myriad images that use race superiority and fear to sell goods - particularly soaps, toiletries and cosmetics - this is the weirdest and most hypnotic that I've ever seen. The weirdness intensifies if you know that the model is Teruha, maybe Japan's most famous geisha and pin-up girl at the end of the Meiji and through the Taisho period. Born Tatsuko Takaoka, in this poster she is about 14 and has possibly graduated from her apprentice name, Chiyoha. Sold by her father at 12, her virginity was soon sold to the president of the Osaka stock exchange and by the time she was 14 she had been engaged to one wealthy business man, promised to another and had a secret affair with an actor. The extended left pinkie finger must be a joke about her misguided sacrifice to love which earnt her yet another name: the Nine Fingered Geisha.
Before and after - or with and without - comparisons were nothing new in Japanese advertising. Neither were celebrities: courtesan prints sold patent medicines long before the Americans arrived and Bismarck adorned adverts for a patent syphilis cure that did for medicine what Bismarck did for Germany. Darkie - coon, nigger, whatever you want to call it - advertising images were obviously not unknown but neither can they have been familiar enough to be taken for granted and reproduced to the American and British formula in the way that the jazz age negro became a standard pattern to be played with by artists and designers in Japan as everywhere else. There is more than hint of a jovial tengu, spirit or minor god here, but for that suit.

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ROGERS, Ben. [ie Roger Pugh?]. The Vengeance of the Tong. London, Modern Publishing [193-?]. Octavo publisher's boards and dustwrapper (this a bit frayed frayed with a largish chip from the spine top). A rather good copy. Au$200

Only edition of this splendid yellow peril thriller. The usual searches find only the British Library copy. Grubby reading copies can be found but once you've seen the cover what's left to read?

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Niizeki Kennosuke (?) [Boken Manga Takarajima Tanken Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shogakukan 1935 (Showa 10). Colour broadside 54x78cm. A bit used: rumpled with some short tears in folds. Not bad. Au$325

This exciting adventure with the natives, giant apes and tigers of a coral island was the new year gift from the Shogaku magazine for third graders. An exemplary lesson as to why every eight year old should be issued a service revolver before they leave the house.

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KEELER, Harry Stephen. Cheung, Detective. London, Ward Lock 1938. Octavo publisher's cloth and mildly frayed dustwrapper. A few spots around the edges, pretty good. Au$300

First edition, the American - dated the next year - was called Y. Cheung, Business Detective. Cheung - well educated, young and thoroughly American - is noteworthy for not being too overt a caricature - unlike the black landlady Mrs Tubbs - and he does get the girl who is half white at the end. No, it doesn't stand up to scrutiny but it was a big step up from Charlie Chan and Mr Moto.

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Peters. LONG, W. Arnold. Bobbie Peters A Chosen Vessel. A story of a deformed half-caste aboriginal native worker, who was made meet for the master's use. Melbourne, S. John Bacon for the Aborigines Inland Mission [1944?]. Octavo publisher's colour printed wrappers with peekaboo cut out (photo of Bobbie Peters beneath - in an earthen urn, short tear around the edge); 32pp, photo ills. Owner's stamps on title, a pretty good copy. Au$75

'Treasure in an Earthen Vessel' (the cover title) it is not. An appalling piece of claptrap, dubious on every level - particularly the basic facts - but a treasure of sorts still. The title here leaves out his alcoholism; there must be only one step further down the disadvantaged ladder to go.

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Prison Administration in South Africa. Department of Foreign Affairs [1969]. Quarto, excellent in publisher's gilt stamped limp leatherette; [6],46pp and numerous photo illustrations (some colour). Au$150

The Prime Minister's copy, stamped "B.J. Vorster" on the front cover, of this model for beleaguered governments. Significant here is that it was only the South African Foreign Department, not those directly responsible for prisons, that felt the need to respond to growing international condemnation.
The United Nations resolution of 1968 condemned South Africa so this report was delivered to the United Nations with a defiant letter stating that the UN had no competence to criticise prison management (cf Horrell; Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1969). One section addresses the "attempts to discredit the South African prison system" and implicit in the photographs of healthy young black African men being taught trades and cared for by older and wiser white men in clean modern facilities is that any complaint by them would be unforgivable ingratitude. They must be better off since leaving their slums and shanties.
Vorster had been the Minister for Justice and for Police and Prisons until his elevation to Prime Minister in 1966 so it must have been doubly satisfying to see his legacy blossoming under the care of his successor, Pelser.

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