Sunny Japan. London, Paris & New York: Raphael Tuck & Sons, ca. 1885-1899.
This chromolithographed picture book was truly an international production, simultaneously published in London, New York, and Paris--and printed at Tuck’s plant in Bavaria. It capitalized on the great popularity of the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta The Mikado, which premiered March 14, 1885. Although the woman on the cover wears a kimono and sports a pompadour, her features are strikingly Caucasian, as though she is “trying on” Japanese culture, not unlike the performers (and vicariously) the audience participating in the Mikado experience.