Kobe, Japan: Mitsumura Printing Company, 1909.
Hardcover. Good. 11 x 14.25 inches, oblong. String-tied decorative cloth boards. Six pages of text, followed by 16 full-page collotype plates and one double-page folding panorama. Light soiling and wear to boards, final leaf with a repair to the margin (not affecting image). National Association of Cotton Manufacturers bookplate on front pastedown and ink stamp on title page call number at lower right corner of front board, otherwise unmarked and internally quite clean. This edition is undated, and we have not been able to determine whether it is earlier or later than another edition that is dated 1909 and credited to Kobe-based photographer S. Ichida (Ichida Sota, 1843-1896). In 1909, the Kanegafuchi Spinning Company employeed more than 14,000 workers and was the largest cotton spinning company in Japan. The company was uncommonly committed to the welfare of its laborers, providing schooling for both adult workers and their children, and offering them affordable housing, healthcare, and recreational opportunities. The high-quality images in this work show the company's offices in Tokyo and Hyogo, the mills in Hyogo, opening ceremonies of the "School for Female Operatives," the kindergarten, plant nursery, dormitory and family housing, dining hall, baths, retail shop, infirmary, recreation hall, and playground.