150-Year-Old Japanese Book Shows U.S. History as an Epic Mythology

A Japanese book from the 1800s features an alternate depiction of United States history in which historical American figures are capable of superhuman feats.

Written by Kanagaki Robun and illustrated by Utagawa Yoshitora near the end of The Edo Period in 1861, Osanaetoki Bankokubanashi (“Children’s Illustrated Tales from 10,000 Countries”) provides an interesting look at how Japan viewed the Western world at the time, reports SoraNews24.

The book, which was based on second-hand sources from Kaikoku Zushi (“Drawings of Foreign Countries”) and Amerika Ittōshi (“American Unified History”), was published some eight years after Commodore Perry forced Japan to end its 220-year-old policy of isolation in 1853.

Historian Nick Kapur recently posted some of the unintentionally hilarious illustrations from the book on his Twitter account.

George Washington, who is referred to in the book as “Father of the Country, Washington,” had his name spelled with the kanji for “story,” “holy,” and “east.”
The second U.S. President John Adams is shown below killing a gigantic serpent:
Meanwhile, Benjamin Franklin is shown here being able to lift a cannon with his bare hands during an epic battle:
A narrative from the book featured John Adam’s mother getting eaten by a snake:

But then! While John Adams is too obsessed with the food and drink, a huge snake comes along and *eats* his mom!
Maybe the snake was a child of that other snake John Adams killed, or maybe it was sent by Ben Franklin as part of their feud?

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