@Nippon Hyôryûtan consists of two volumes and this book is the first one. There are five stories in each volume. The first book to introduce the records of castaways to children, it introduced the genre of non-fiction for children. Non-fiction based on castaway stories has been written consistently from the Meiji era to the present day. This work is regarded as one of their origins. In addition, with Nippon Hyôryûtan as a turning point, many castaway fictions were written. Ishii himself wrote an original story titled "Shônen Robinson" ["Boy Robinson"] (1900).
@As non-fiction, Nippon Hyôryûtan is based on a scientific attitude. The reason Ishii paid attention to castaway stories was that he had been apprehensive about poor Japanese maritime knowledge and wanted to encourage Japan as a seafaring country by teaching maritime affairs to children. Later he also published castaway stories for adults.
@Vol. Two contains three colored woodprint frontispieces. It includes stories such as a Japanese castaway to Vietnam who encounters a fellow countryman and returns home and a man castaway to a desert island who finds another castaway ship and returns home.
@Nippon Hyôryûtan was received favorably but did not seem to sell well. Perhaps it was ahead of its time, perhaps the high price and the simple Japanese-style binding had a bad influence on sales. A reprint of the original was published by Holp Shuppan in 1974.