Japanese Maps : Shinsei yochi zenzu

Japanese Maps

<p style='text-align: justify;'> Map of the world divided into two hemispheres, in Japanese. It represents the western and eastern hemispheres. It is a wood block print on paper, mounted on linen scroll, with hand colouring used to highlight border lines for several countries and for the five continents (as reported in the explanatory notes). An introduction, in coloured text, dated Tenpō 15 (1844) and signed by Ōtsuki Takashi (an alias for the Sinologist Ōtsuki Bankei, 1801-1878), is positioned to the right of the map. On the left side, the scroll includes a legend with explanatory notes, the date Kōka 1 (1844) and the name of the cartographer, Mitsukuri Shōgo (1821-1846).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The explanatory notes mention that the map was based on a French chart, dated Tenpō 6 (1835); as both the images and text on the French model were too small, some earlier maps were also referenced, and the work was expanded to include more information about latitude, longitude and the five climate zones. The world is divided into 360 degrees, each one of 28 ri (1 ri = 3.927 km), with parallel lines drawn every ten degrees. Place names are reported on the map and, as explained in the legend, non-independent states are marked with a symbol representing the suzerain state. The title is reported both on the map and on the (original) label mounted on the outside of the blue linen scroll (with original silk tie), text black on white labels (one with Library's call no.: Japanese 118a). The names of the engravers, Takeguchi Teisai and Sugita Yūsai are reported below the map, to the left side. Two red seals appear below the title and below the map. </p>

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