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Lot 0296
Heading: (1935-1937) Tagawa, Bunji, illustrator
Title: Three children's books illustrated by Bunji Tagawa
Place Published: Various places
Date Published: Various dates

Cloth, 1 with jacket.

Bunji Tagawa, born in Nagasaki, Japan, the son of a liberal legislator, came to America as a teenager in 1922.

He graduated from the University of Kansas and did graduate work in Philosophy at Cornell - where he met his future wife, Nisei poet Kimi Gengo. After their marriage in 1932, he began a long career in book illustration with the children's book by Etsu Sugimoto's American-educated daughter. After illustrating these children's books, he became a "technical illustrator" of a broad range of non-fiction books, including African-American sociology and astronomy. As he and his wife lived in New York at the time of Pearl Harbor, they were not subject to internment. He became a naturalized citizen in 1954.


  • Strack, Lilian Holmes. Swords and Iris, Stories of the Japanese Doll Festivals. Original decorative cloth, laid in is a portion of the dust jacket, designed by Tagawa, who also illustrated the book with a colored frontispiece printed on brownish rice paper, colored endpapers, 9 full-page black-and-white plates and numerous text illustrations. First Edition. New York: Harper, 1937

  • Chiyono Sugimoto Siyooka. Chiyo's Return. Color pictorial dust jacket by Bunji Tagawa who also illustrated the book with color endpapers, color frontispiece, 6 full-page black-and-white plates, and numerous headpieces and text illustrations. First Edition. New York: Junior Literary Guild and Doubleday, 1935.

  • Hedrick, Elinor and Kathryne Van Noy. Kites and Kimonos. Decorative cloth, probably designed by Tagawa, who also illustrated the book with colored endpapers, frontispiece and 12 full-page black-and-white plates and chapter headpieces. Later printing, first published in 1936. New York: Macmillan, 1938.


Generally very good condition.

Buyer's Premium

  • 25%

Three illustrated by Asian-American Bunji Tagawa

Estimate $300 - $500Jun 28, 2018
San Francisco, CA, USA