Tokyo. Self-published. Circa 1930.
"The Expediter" was a handbook supplied to U.S. participants assembled for tour-guide Upton Close’s fifth excursion to the Far East, in which he served, to use his preferred terminology, as "Commander" of a "Cultural Expedition." Text at rear lists the names of "Attendees" of four earlier "Expeditions" beginning in 1927; the number of entries show an increase with each tour. The book lists a series of informative "lectures" delivered by Close in the course of the "Expedition" - on the steamer heading out and throughout the tour. A series of pages render phrases in Japanese and Chinese useful for brief utterances, but most likely of marginal utility to his tourist party. At rear of the book are foldout pages of "Expedition Songs," listing the different ones selected for each of Close’s earlier junkets. Booklet is in excellent clean condition, essentially "as new," possibly tucked in a suitcase and never consulted. It remains a remarkable ephemeral Guide Book in which the "Commander’s" steely persona is, at evert turn, on authoritarian display. Upton Close (born Josef Washington Hall in Kelso, Washington, in 1894) first experienced the Far East as a Seventh Day Adventist missionary in China. He contributed articles in the 1920s to "National Geographic" and other periodicals, and by the 1930s had established himself as a journalist, with several books on the Far East, as well as serving as Tour Guide for groups wishing to experience the cultures of China and Japan. After World War II he became associated with far-right groups and was a close associate, in Washington D.C., of Joseph McCarthy circa 1950. He died in a motor vehicle accident in Mexico in 1960. Item #54834