Contains: Ansons Voyage Round the World; Kaempfers Account of Japan; Stephens Travels in Egypt, Arabia, and the Holy Land; Stephens Travels in Greece, Turkey, Russia, and Poland; the Muntiny of the Bounty by Lieutenant W. Bligh. A Google book., London: Nathaniel Cook
Originally conceived as historical fiction, Yamada decided to instead write a “straightforward history” (Preface, p. v). Modern readers, however, will find that it is somewhat embellished. Having said that, one finds this book a delightful read. Yamada sets out to detail what he considers the most momentous national event, “one of the most important facts which should be known by our friends who take an interest in the evolution of Japanese power”: the attempted Mongolian invasion of Japan by Kublai Kahn in the 13th century. (Preface vi). Yamada gives an historical overview of Japan’s relations with Korea since the 1st century BC as a background to the Mongolian invasion. This is followed by a close look at Kublai’s interest in and attempted invasions of Japan and the aid that Korea gave to Kublai in this period. The last few chapters are devoted to a comparison of Japan with that of England, and the Kublai’s failed attempt to invade Japan with the failure of the Spanish Armada to do the same to England. The reader may find the national and imperialistic tone of this work unusual unless one remembers that this is written in 1916, during the time of Japanese bid for imperialism in Asia, and is published in England for the English audience as an attempt to show how Japan is like England in its rise to a great nation.