Japanese Maps : [Shinkan Nagasaki ōezu]

Japanese Maps

<p style='text-align: justify;'> Wood-block printed, commercial map of the city of Nagasaki, in Japanese, one sheet, folded, oriented with north to the upper right corner. No title is reported on the map, but Mody (1969, plate 27) reports, for a map printed with the same block, the title "Shinkan Nagasaki ōezu". The alternative title "Nagasaki no zu" is reported on an hand-written mounted cover label, but the cover itself is not original. A colophon in the lower left section reports the place of publication and the publisher, but no date. The iconography of the map is, on the other hand, consistent with maps published in the 18th century.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Nagasaki was one of the most commonly represented port cities of Japan in the Edo or Tokugawa period (1603-1868). The ruling Tokugawa family favoured isolation in foreign policy, and Nagasaki was the one of the very few "international hubs" and gateways to the external world in Japan at the time. It hosted two foreign communities (a Chinese community and a community linked to the Dutch East India Company, both in secluded areas of the city) and worked as a point of entry for goods both from China and from Europe.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The map, which covers a large area including the otskirts of the city, focuses on this role of Nagasaki as an outward-looking port. It uses colours and pictorial elements to highlight ships and embankments, as well as other elements commonly represented pictorially in maps, such as temples and shrines, hills and vegetation. Annotations in red appear on the map. In the lower section, the map includes a plate with distances by land and sea from Nagasaki to locations both within and outside Japan. </p>

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