Kajin no kigū （『佳人之奇遇』） written by Tōkai Sanshi (1852-1922) was one of the most popular political novels in the Meiji Era. In the book he vividly described European invasions of lesser countries in the world including Egypt and Madagascar, and told how Japan should deal with great powers, emphasizing that each country must preserve its national dignity and respect for its own culture.
His personal experience was indispensable for the origin of the story. Born in a family of Aizu clansman, he became a refugee after the armed conflict between the Shōgunate party and loyalists in 1868. Having tasted the bitters of life, he managed to get a chance to study in the United States on a scholarship from 1879 to 1884. He published the first volume of Kajin no kigū in 1885, based on the knowledge acquired both at home and abroad, and completed the work in 1897. He was the first Japanese who could identify Japan with Africa which was on the verge of European colonization.
This paper is an attempt to examine his view of Africa and show how unique it was in the light of modern Japanese history.