Japanese Maps : Enjū Oedo ezu

Japanese Maps

<p style='text-align: justify;'> Map of Edo, in Japanese. The title is reported in a mounted cover label. The colophon, highlighted in yellow in the lower left section of the map, reports that the map was authorized for publication in Kaei 6 (1853) and first published in Ansei 5 (1858), but that this copy was printed from blocks revised in Ansei 7 (1860). The colophon also reports the name of the publishers, all from Edo: Izumoji Manjirō, Moriya Jibē and Wakabayashi Kihē. The map is oriented with north to the right. It is a colour woodblock print, with relief shown pictoriall, a single sheet with a section at middle that drops down and is longer than the rest of the map: at its longest points, the height of the map is 780 mm and the width is 930 mm. It folds into original burnished patterned covers. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The map represents the whole city area (with the drop-down section used to represent the totality of the Honjo area), with roads highlighted in yellow, and major temple and shrine areas within the city and in its outskirts represented pictorially. It is highly detailed, with place-names associated to a number of elements on the maps, including Edo castle and its compounds, warrior mansions, governmental offices, city blocks, roads, major bridges, villages, temples and shrines, lakes, ponds and rivers. Family crests appear on the mansions of major warrior families. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The map follows the structural tradition established by Ochikochi Dōin, the author of the set of Edo maps known as "Kanbun go-mai zu" (Five-page map from the Kanbun era, 1661-1673), the first printed and published maps of Edo based on surveying. With the permission of Tokugawa authorities, the set was subsequently scaled down into a single sheet map of Edo with Edo castle at its centre, "Shinpan Edo ōezu" (Newly published large map of Edo, 1676; also recurring in different editions as "Bunken Edo ōezu", Measured large map of Edo). It also resulted in other adaptations, particularly Ishikawa Tomonobu’s "Edo zukan kōmoku" (Outline map of Edo, 1689), which, in iconographical terms, departed significantly from the original model. While Edo’s last significant structural change was brought about by the so-called Meireki fire of 1657, in fact, the social compositio of the city changed significantly in the two following centuries (particularly with the growth of an urban consumer class, composed of both commoners and warriors), in a way that was reflected in the growing iconographical complexity of maps. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> This map is a late adaptation of Ishikawa’s model, marked by its extensive use of colour. To the left of the colophon, a legend explains the use of family crests to identify the mansions of the most powerful warrior families, and illustrates the symbols associated with the mansions of lesser families. A plate lists major celebrations at Edo temples and shrines. Cover description: forest green burnished paper and flexible cover board; in the front, mounted cover title, in Japanese, text black on beige label, and white label (with the Library's call no.: Japanese 97); in the back, mounted bookplate of Biblioteca Lindesiana (at the base of the bookplate in pencil is the notation: "15/F"). </p>

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