Published by Edition Synapse, Japan and distributed by Routledge outside of Japan.
From the Introduction by Peter O’Connor:-
… In July 1905, Japan and Britain were deep in negotiations for renewal of their Alliance, which effectively exchanged Japanese support for British interests in India for British support for a Japanese protectorate and a freer hand in Korea. In 1905, Japan’s star was in the ascendant and the first edition of the Japan Year Book stands as a harbinger of Tokyo’s claim to leadership of the new Asia.
During the six years, 1905-1911, covered by the six volumes in the first Series of this Collection, Japan would move on from the shame of Portsmouth to the annexation of Korea in 1910, executed, in a masterstroke of news management, at the height of the Japan-British Exhibition in August. In 1911 Japan and Britain again renewed the Alliance, with Komura Jutarō deftly restoring tariff autonomy to Japan. In October of that year the Xinhai Revolution finally gave expression to a fierce but seldom pragmatic nationalism: the very force that stood to gain least from the Alliance and would in May 1919 stand most opposed to the interests vested in it.
But all this was ahead. Takenobu’s task in 1905 was to compile for his publishers, the Japan Year Book Office based in Kobiki-cho, Tsukiji, Tokyo, as comprehensive a guide to the geography, court, government institutions, education, economy, trade, politics, infrastructure, press, and more of Japan, its interests in Formosa and the protectorate over Korea that would be established by Treaty that November. As later subtitles put it, the Year Book was ‘A complete cyclopaedia of general information and statistics on Japan and the Japanese territories’. Stripped down, the Year Book had two aims: first, but not adamantly, to turn a profit and, second, to promote Japan’s ascendancy in Asia. …
Press comment on the 1910 edition:-
Daily Telegraph (May 26th, 1910) – The work constitutes a most comprehensive cyclopaedia of general information and statistics concerning Japan.
Financial Times (May 30th , 1910) – This very useful manual should be of greater service than ever this year, on the one hand, of the steady expansion of business between Great Britain and Japan and, on the other hand, of the interest which is now being directed to Anglo-Japanese matters by the exhibition at Shepherd’s-Bush. … The book should prove extremely useful to those who desire information with regard to anything "Japanese".
The Times (July 19th, 1910) – Those who are interested in the Japanese Empire will find this little book of great value. It is to a larger extent what it claims to be – namely, "a complete cyclopaedia of general information and statistics on Japan". The editor, Professor Y. Takenobu, of Waseda University, formerly editor of the Japan Times, is a well-known economist and writer, He has apparently spared no pains to include in the fifth annual volume of his publication the most recent data, and in many cases the figures have been brought down to 1909. Not the least important feature of the Japan Year Book is Chapter V., which comprises a "Who’s Who in Japan". In the compilation of the Japanese number of The Times frequent reference has been made to Mr. Takenobu’s work, and in nearly all instances the information sought has been found.
CONTENTS of Volume 2:
Diary of 1905
Who's Who in Japan
Mines and Mining
Banks and Banking Business
Army and the Navy
Arts and Crafts in Modern Japan
Charity and Relief
Patents, Design, Trademarks
Justice, Police and Sanitation