@A book for children that introduced Western, predominantly American, stories with literary interest in the early Meiji era. In those days, many books for children were intended to edify their readers. The title of this book, Seiyô Dôwa, might be a reflection of the editor's intention to create a book with literary value; however, a didactic element was inevitable in reading material for children, and fairy tales did not necessarily mean stories with literary interest. The title of the first story in this book is "Gyôgi Tadashiku Shinsetsu ni Arubeki Koto" [Be Polite and Kind], which well suggests the nature of the stories in this book.
@The editor Imai was a doctor and a teacher of classic Chinese literature. His interest in education may have led him to write such a didactic book for children. (He wrote and edited other books such as Rigaku Jikai [An Introduction to Science] (1875).)
@According to the preface, Seiyô Dôwa was based on a reader published in the United States. This book was intended to help the phonetics of pre-school children. The pictures (probably after the original illustrations) and the explanation of difficult words were to help young children read this volume by themselves.