<p style='text-align: justify;'> Wood-block printed, commercial map of Shitaya, one of the districts of the city of Edo, in Japanese, one sheet, folded, oriented with west to the top. The title is reported in the upper section of the map. The title "Shitaya ezu" (下谷絵図 Map of Shitaya) and subtitle "Kaei shinkoku" (嘉永新刻 Newly engraved in the Kaei era) appear instead on the surviving envelope, which also reports that the map was published in Tōto ("Eastern capital", i.e. Edo). A colophon in the lower right section reports the date of publication Kaei 4 (1852), the date of revision Bunkyū 2 (1862), the name of the author, Tomatsu Masanori (also appearing on the envelope), and the name of the publisher, Owariya Seishichi.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The map was first published in 1850, and was part of the series Ōedo kiriezu (大江戸切絵図, Sectional pictorial map of Great Edo). A legend in the lower right section illustrates the icons (symbols and distinct colours) used on the map for different types of warrior mansions, roads and bridges, tradesmen's houses and shops, temples, shrines and other topographical features.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The map is printed in five colours and, as was common, uses pictorial representation to highlight elements of the cityscape, such as temples and shrines. By the late Edo or Tokugawa period (1603-1868), maps of Edo had become commonplace, and new, sectional (and therefore very detailed) maps of the city became popular. They reflected the growth of the Edo metropolis and how commoners such as wealthy merchants, with their culture and lifestyle, had gained relevance within it. In these sets, the city loses its centre (usually identified with Edo-castle and the warrior district in one-sheet maps) and every part of the city is represented with equal importance. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The shogunal vassal Sena Sadao (1716-1796) first drew a set of 8 small-sheet maps, on a scale of 1 : 5000, but they still only covered the central part of Edo. The maps were published from 1755 to 1775 by Kichimonjiya Jirobē. Later, in 1848-1855, another Edo publisher, Omiya Gohē, revised the series and enlarged it to 35 sheets, based on the map-making work of Takashiba San’yū and Murakami Goyū. In 1850, the publisher Owariya Seishichi started releasing his own set, consisting of 31 maps published in the 1850s and 1860s (all present in the Japanese 200 series, with the exception of a map of Hatchōbori), and the series became the most popular one. </p>
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