1876 Meiji 9 Japanese Map of Great Japan
Description: A rare, monumental, and beautiful 1876 or Meiji 9 Map of Japan. Oriented to the west, this beautifully engraved map covers the Japanese islands of Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, with parts of adjacent Hokkaido and Korea. Color coded according to geographical region. Smaller tables in the lower left and right quadrants provide supplementary information, such as telegraph distances. This map was issued early in the Meiji Restoration and as a transitional piece exhibits aspects of both traditional Japanese and the european cartographic elements.
Date: 1876 (dated)
Cartographer: Japanese cartography appears as early as the 1600s. Japanese maps are known for their exceptional beauty and high quality of workmanship. Early Japanese cartography has its own very distinctive projection and layout system. Japanese maps made prior to the appearance of Commodore Perry and the opening of Japan in the mid to late 1850s often have no firm directional orientation, incorporate views into the map proper, and tend to be hand colored woodblock prints. This era, from the 1600s to the c. 1855, which roughly coincides with the Tokugawa or Edo Period (1603-1886), some consider the Golden Age of Japanese Cartography. Most maps from this period, which followed isolationist ideology, predictably focus on Japan. The greatest cartographer of the period, whose work redefined all subsequent cartography, was Ino Tadataka (1745 -1818). Ino's maps of Japan were so detailed that, when the European cartographers arrived they had no need, even with their far more sophisticated survey equipment, to remap the region. Later Japanese maps, produced in the late Edo and throughout the Meiji period, draw heavily upon western maps as models in both their content and overall cartographic style. While many of these later maps maintain elements of traditional Japanese cartography such as the use of rice paper, woodblock printing, and delicate hand color, they also incorporate western directional orientation, projection systems, and structural norms. Click here for a list of Japanese maps.
Size: Printed area measures 47 x 24 inches (119.38 x 60.96 centimeters)
Condition: Very good condition. Attached to original boards. Minor wormholing - see image. Minor wear and toning on original fold lines.
Code: GreatJapan-meiji9-1876 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)