One of the first Europeans ever to set foot in Japan visits Hormuz

Pinto, Fernão Mendes. Les voyages advantureux de Fernand Mendez Pinto. Fidellement traduits de Portugais en François par le Sieur Bernard Figuier Gentil-homme Portugais [...].

Paris, Arnould Cotinet & Jean Roger, 1645.

4to. (8), 1020 (but: 940), (12) pp. With woodcut title-vignette, headpiece, and several initials. Contemporary giltstamped full calf with gilt spine-title.


Second French edition of this important work of travel literature by one of the first Europeans ever to set foot in Japan. Particularly remarkable for its early criticism of Portuguese colonialism, the account resembles an autobiographical novel, describing the author's sensational travels in the Middle and Far East, including China, Japan (where he met Francis Xavier in 1551), Sumatra, Java, Siam and Malaysia. Early in his voyage, Pinto is captured by Muslim pirates and taken to Mocha as a slave, but he regains his freedom by the intermediation of a Jewish tradesman who leads him to Portuguese Ormus, from where he continues his journey to Goa.

Composed between 1569 and 1578 by the Portuguese adventurer and merchant Pinto (ca. 1514-83) and not published until 31 years after the author's death, the work saw translations into Spanish, French, English, Dutch and German as early as the 17th century and remains to this day a relevant source for early modern Asian history, despite questions about its historical accuracy. "Whether Pinto was one of the discoverers of Japan remains uncertain" (Henze).

Binding slightly rubbed. Paper occasionally rather browned as common; some marginal tears not touching text. Deleted ownership to flyleaf; armorial bookplate of the Conte de Serans to front pastedown. An attractive copy.


Cordier, Sinica II, 2067. Löwendahl 97. Palau 163.206. Howgego I, P 98, p. 829. OCLC 457644236. Cf. Henze IV, 122.