Japanese Maps : Sagami no kuni yochi zenzu

Tsurumine, Shigenobu, 1788-1859 鶴峯, 戊申

Japanese Maps

<p style='text-align: justify;'> Wood-block printed, commercial map of Sagami province, in Japanese, one sheet, folded, in colour, oriented with north to the top. The title is reported in the upper right section. A colophon in the lower section reports the names of the publishers, from Kyoto (Kikuya Shichirōemon), Osaka (Kawachiya Kihē and Kawachiya Mohē ), and Edo (Kikuya Kōzaburō and other seven publishers). It lacks a date, but the map was probably published in the first half of the 19th century, as the author was active in that period.</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. The province of Sagami was a renowned destination for recreational travellers, and above all for residents of the Tokugawa capital, Edo. The area was different enough from Edo to be attractive, and close enough to be cheap and easy to travel to. It featured many well-loved coastal cities, such as Kanazawa, Kamakura and Enoshima, renowned for their rich history and religious and literary auras.</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, lakes, rivers and roads. It includes a legend, indicating the symbols used for districts, villages, newly developed rice fields, roads, old castles, temples and shrines, etc. Next to the legend, the name of the author is listed as Tsurumine Hikoichirō 鶴峯彦一郎, an alias for Tsurumine Shigenobu (an intellectual and author belonging to the school of Kokugaku or National Learning), together with the name of another contributor, Fukusumi Gohē 福住五兵衛 . The map includes two plates with distances. </p>

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