Japanese Maps : Shinano no kuni zenzu

Japanese Maps

<p style='text-align: justify;'> Wood-block printed, commercial map of Shinano province, one sheet, folded, oriented with west to the top, in Japanese. The title is reported in the lower left side of the map and on a mounted cover label. A colophon in the lower section reports the places of publications and names of the publishers (Kikuya Kosaburō and seven others in Edo, Kawachiya Kihē and Kawachiya Mohē in Ōsaka, and Kikuya Shichirōbei in Kyō [Kyoto]). It lacks a date, but the map was probably published in the first half of the 19th century (based on the names of the shogunal officials in one of the plates of the map).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The Tokugawa family started commissioning provincial maps at the beginning of the 17th century, as instruments to facilitate territorial control. Administrative provincial maps were then commonly collated to create national maps, and also inspired commercial maps like this one, meant to guide travellers. Commercial provincial maps focused on local attractions rather than on territorial administration.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The map shows relief pictorially, and uses pictorial elements and colour to put an emphasis on topographical features such as mountains, rivers, lakes and roads. It marks the name of bordering provinces, major routes out of the province, names of districts and other place names. A legend, over the colophon, illustrates the symbols used for buildings such as castles, daimyō residences, temples and shrines, newly developed rice fields, villages, famous places. A number of plates in the lower left section lists major temples and shrines, the names of the districts in the province, the names of government officials, local products and famous locations. </p>

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