You obviously need a Japanese-speaking minion on the payroll. These are your scans yeah? Can you work out the publisher? I guess you could upload relevant opening pages +/- back cover to a free ocr-scan site which might spit out a translated name. Lemme know if you want the ocr link, I've got it hiding around somewhere or other.
Peacay, I added links to the covers. Through a flickr friend, I think I actually landed a "book broker" in Japan. I have no idea how this works yet, but I think this blog will get a lot better in a few months.Also, I keep meaning to put a classified ad right at the top of the blog begging for translation services from various languages.
My live-in Japanese-speaking minion (actually overlord would be more accurate), had a look and can't see any mention of the illustrator anywhere in the sample pages.Rats!
The inside front cover says they're by Ikeda Masuo, a Japanese printmaker who died about ten years ago. Cover design by someone named Suzuki.Ikeda was rich and famous here in Japan. His prints sold well for 25 years or so; the art museum here in Hiroshima has several, including a set he did about the Seven Deadly Sins. He was on TV and acted in movies, even. I doubt that he made the prints specially for the books.
Thanks Eric.I'll add some links to this post.