The only work by Kaempfer to be published in his lifetime. A significant portion of the work is devoted to the study on Japan, including the important list of Japanese flora. The author was part of the 1683 Swedish embassy to the Shah of Persia. From Isfahan he joined the Dutch East India Company as physician to the company’s station at Bandar Abbas. He reached Java in 1689 and joined the annual voyage to Japan in the following year; he spent 2 years in Japan, mostly in Nagasaki, but visited Edo twice.
“It is an extremely important book botanically because of Fasc. V which describes and illustrates the plants of the Orient. Here is pictured for the first time for Western eyes such flowers as the Camellia, under its Japanese name ‘Tsubaki'” (Hunt).
“In this work Kaempfer presents his observations on Persia and adjacent countries; information on Japanese paper-making, and a brief discussion of Japan; a long chapter on the date palm; and finally, a catalogue on Japanese plants that must have been intended as a prodromus for a more complete flora of Japan” (DSB).
A very nice copy bound in contemporary vellum.