Japanese Maps : Zōho Ōsaka zu

Japanese Maps

<p style='text-align: justify;'> Wood-block printed, commercial map of the city of Osaka, in Japanese, hand-coloured, one sheet, folded. If one uses the title as reference, the map is oriented with south to the top, but there is no fixed orientation for text on the map. In the East-West axis, the text is dominantly oriented in a way that puts Osaka castle (to the East) at the top of the map. The title appears in the upper right section, and the alternative title "Ōsaka no zu" (大阪之図 Map of Osaka), with the subtitle "Shinpan zōho" (新板増補 Newly published, revised and enlarged) is reported in a mounted cover label. A colophon, in the lower right section, reports the places of publication, the names of the publishers, and the date of publication Tenmei 7 (1787).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The map was printed using (revised) blocks from another series of Osaka maps, published by the same Kikuya Shichirōbē from Kyoto, in combination with a different Osaka publisher (Fujiya Chōbē), in the Meiwa era (1764–1772). Harimaya Kyūbē, who took over as Osaka publisher, dominated the market for Osaka maps from the end of the 18th century to the mid 19th century. The cartography of Osaka reflects how the city, in the Edo or Tokugawa period (1603-1868), developed into a national hub for commerce, shipping and finance. At the end of the 16th century, buildings were mostly concentrated around the castle (built by the military leader Toyotomi Hideyoshi), with a commercial area immediately to the west of the military precinct. During the 17th century, however, the city rapidly expanded, growing into a metropolis of roughly 400,000 inhabitants.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>In Osaka, daimyō (military lords) built their financial offices (kurayashiki), where they shipped the rice they collected through taxes, so that it could be changed by Osaka merchants into cash. New commercial peripheries were created in cleared "new lands", where merchants and shipping companies made use of the city's canal network. This map shows the city at a mature stage of its development. It depicts a limited number of elements pictorially - notably the castle itself (left blank in many other Osaka maps) and the Shitennō Temple. It uses colour to highlight buildings, temples and shrines, areas in the military district of the city, and the canal system. It labels kurayashiki and other buildings in the military districts, temples and shrines, canals, city blocks, villages and areas in the expanded outskirts of the city, but machiya (tradesmen's houses and shops) are not named. Under the title, a plate lists distances between different locations within the city. In the lower left section, another plate lists (and dates) renovations made in the city. </p>

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