NIPPON YUSEN KAISHA [calligraphic title on box]. [Tokyo, Litho Mitsuma, c. 1916].
Oblong 4to. Original cord-bound, patterned and lettered boards, endpapers with gold speckles, in the original cardboard box; 30 plates, many printed in colour, large linen-backed colour-printed world map and large linen-backed chromolithographic section of the ship (89 x 36 cm); only cardboard box with one repair, a bit worn and discoloured, otherwise very well preserved.
An exceptionally rare and beautiful in-house publications for clients of and investors in the Japanese shipping line. 'Born [in 1885] of the merger of Mitsubishi Mail Steamship Company and Kyodo Unyu Kaisha, NYK resultantly expanded its business from the seas of Asia to the oceans of the world under a nibikiflag featuring two thick red lines on a white background to symbolize the union of the two companies from which NYK arose' (NYK website). As a NYK vessel became the first Japanese ship to pass the Panama Canal in 1914, and regular services to New York began in 1916, we can roughly date this book to that period, when Japan saw an immense economic boom due to their neutrality in WWI.