Japanese Maps : Hishū Nagasaki no zu

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. The title is reported on a mounted cover label. An attached slip on the map reports the alternative title "Nagasaki no zu" (Map of Nagasaki). A colophon preceded by a small preface, in the lower left section, reports the name of the shop responsible for the publication of the map (Bunkindō 文錦堂, in Nagasaki) and the date of publication of the edition: Kyōwa 2 (1802). Near the date, the colophon reports, in smaller characters, that the block was amended "in the year of the metal snake" (mitomi nen 辛巳年), meaning the year 1821.</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, marked on the map) and worked as a point of entry for goods both from China and from Europe.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The map focuses on this role of Nagasaki as a port. It covers a smaller area than Japanese 104, but similarly 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. In the lower left section, the map includes a small legend (reporting the symbols used for the locations of daimyō's residences and offices and of town elders), and two plates, with distances by land and sea from Nagasaki to locations both in and outside Japan. This map is from the same block as the one described in Mody (1969, plate 31). </p>

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