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1894 Meiji 27 Kitaro Kumazawa Complete Map of Qing Beijing

清國北亰全圖 / [Complete Map of Qing Beijing]. - Main View

1894 Meiji 27 Kitaro Kumazawa Complete Map of Qing Beijing


Qing Beijing!


清國北亰全圖 / [Complete Map of Qing Beijing].
  1894 (dated)     21.5 x 16 in (54.61 x 40.64 cm)


This is a rare 1894 map of Beijing by the Japanese cartographer Kitaro Kumazawa (熊澤喜太郎) that details the streets and hutong of Beijing along with important buildings and sites. The map has two inset drawings of the Forbidden City (故宮, noted here in the Japanese style as 皇居) and the Zhengyang Gate (正陽門), the main southern gate to the inner city just below Tiananmen Square. A description at the right gives a brief history of Beijing and an explanation of the division of the city into inner and outer sections.
City of Officials and Hutong
As it developed under the Ming, Beijing was divided into three sections: the Forbidden City for the Emperor, his highest advisors, family members, and servants (itself actually divided into two main sections sometimes called the 'Palace City' and the 'Imperial City', themselves with numerous internal divisions and restrictions on access); the inner city for high-level officials (in the Ming Dynasty these were often eunuchs and under the Qing this area was also reserved for extended relatives of the emperor and bannermen, the elite of the military) and luxury markets that serviced them; and the outer city, reserved for relatively low-level officials, merchants, and other non-elite members of the government and society. In reality, these divisions were not as strict as may appear at first glance, although access to the Forbidden City itself was tightly restricted. Like earlier imperial capitals in China and throughout East Asia, Beijing was built according to a combination of fengshui principles and bureaucratic rationality. Thus, it is oriented towards the south with mountains to the back (north) and is basically geometric in design.
Qing Beijing and the World
Beijing has gone through many name changes over its history. Some structures visible here were already many centuries old when the map was produced, like the Ox Street Mosque (牛街礼拜寺, located in the southwest section of the outer city, towards Guang'an Gate 廣安門), constructed in the Tenth Century CE. The area had been a seasonal capital of several kingdoms, including the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, when it was known as Khanbaliq or Dadu. But the city only became Beijing (meaning 'northern capital') in 1403, when the Ming Emperor Yongle moved the capital from Nanjing ('southern capital') to be closer to the front line of the Ming's ongoing war with the Mongols. Under the Ming, Beijing began to take on its modern form, with the Forbidden City, the city walls protecting and separating the inner and outer city, and many of the temples located throughout the city, including the Temple of Heaven (天壇) near the bottom-center. The Manchu Qing Dynasty elaborated the already-grandiose city that the Ming had built and added more palaces and parks to demonstrate their imperial splendor. The city was a cultural magnet, incorporating influences from throughout China proper as well as from the Manchus, Mongols, and a number of Chinese protectorates and vassal states like Tibet (the beautiful Yonghe Temple 雍和宫 can be seen at top-right just east of Anding Gate 安定門), Korea, and Annam, and even elements from Europe. Jesuit missionaries had arrived in Beijing in the early seventeenth century and were generally distrusted due to their foreign religion but were allowed to stay, construct churches (the Nantang Church can be seen at center-left, marked 天主堂, near Xuanwu Gate 宣武門), and render services that the emperor and his advisors deemed useful. In particular, the Jesuits were great mathematicians, astronomers, cartographers, painters, musicians, translators, and manufacturers of mechanical devices like clocks.

Although the Ming and Qing had a number of institutions for handling foreign relations, including the Ministry of Rites (禮部, southeast of the Forbidden City), the Huitong Guan (會同舘, just east of the Zhengyang Gate in the inner city and just south of the Ministry of Rites), and Lifan Yuan (理藩院 just outside the southeast corner of the Forbidden City), they did not have embassies, foreign missions, or a foreign ministry in the manner of Western powers. This changed after the second Opium War when the Qing were forced to create the Zongli Yamen (總理衙門, not marked on this map but approximately at the Dongtangzi Hutong 東堂子胡同, east of the Forbidden City, about half-way to the eastern city wall) and allow foreign diplomats to reside near the Forbidden City, which many did in what became known as the Legation Quarter (on 東江米巷, southeast of the Forbidden City, about half-way between Zhengyang Gate and Chongwen Gate 崇文門). This quarter endured a weeks-long siege during the Boxer Uprising but held out until relieved by the forces of the Eight Nation Alliance. In the following years, the entire area was rebuilt, and a railway station was added just outside Zhengyang Gate. The city would go through additional expansion and changes in the following decades, most notably during the early years of the People's Republic era, when most of the city walls were torn down for the construction of the Beijing subway and the 2nd Ring Road.
Publication History and Census
This map was printed on February 27, 1894 and published in November of the same year. The only other known copy is held at the National Diet Library of Japan, cataloged with a slightly different title (清國北京城全圖). There is also a map with the same title from 1875 that was produced by the Japanese Army General Staff Bureau (陸軍参謀局). This map was drawn by Kitaro Kumazawa (熊澤喜太郎) and jointly published by Tōundō Shoten (東雲堂書店) and Heirinkan (兵林館) and printed by Isshindō (一新堂), all based in Tokyo. The pamphlet that enclosed the map notes that the calligrapher and author Maeda Mokuhō (前田默鳳), who lived in Beijing in the 1880s while studying calligraphy, reviewed the map for accuracy.


Kumazawa Kitaro (熊澤喜太郎; c. 1880 - 1890) was a Tokyo-based artist and cartographer of the early Meiji period. He produced multiple maps as well as an 1895 bird's eye view depiction of the Forbidden City (支那北京皇居全景) and an 1892 book of photographs and drawings of famous places in Tokyo (東京名所). Learn More...


Very good. Overall toning. Accompanied by original paper binder, which is itself in rough condition - see image.