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1943 or Showa 18 World War II Era Japanese Map of New Zealand


New Zealand.
Click on image for high resolution zoom.

Price:   $$$ (item sold)
SOLD. Call for off-line availability or,
Title:    New Zealand.

Description:    This is a stunning large format Japanese map of New Zealand dating to World War II, and one of the most beautiful cartographic depictions of New Zealand to appear in the 20th century. It covers the entirety of New Zealand, including North Island and South Island with insets of important harbors in the upper left and lower right quadrants. The map offers superb detail regarding both topographical and political elements, noting cities and roads as well as air and sea routes. Blue shading is used to indicate oceanic depths. All text is in Japanese. This map was created as part of a series of folding maps of parts of Asia and Pacific prepared by the Japanese during World War II and is possibly suggestive of Japanese imperial ambitions for this region. This map is no. 17 in that series.

Date:    1943 (undated)

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 21 x 30 inches (53.34 x 76.2 centimeters)

Scale:    1 : 2000000

Condition:    Very good. Minor wear and along original folds. Minor damage in upper left quadrant. Professionally flattened and backed with archival tissue.

Code:   NewZealand-showa18-1943 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)

Tags:    Japanese Map , World War II Map

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