1927 Yoshida Bird's-Eye View of Kyushu, Japan

日本鳥瞰九州大圖繪 / [Bird's Eye View of Japan - Large Illustrated Map of Kyushu]. - Main View

1927 Yoshida Bird's-Eye View of Kyushu, Japan


Japan's Mountainous Southern Island.


日本鳥瞰九州大圖繪 / [Bird's Eye View of Japan - Large Illustrated Map of Kyushu].
  1927 (dated)     10.25 x 41 in (26.035 x 104.14 cm)


A spectacular bird's-eye view of Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's home islands, drawn by Yoshida Hatsusaburō and published in the Osaka Mainichi Shimbun in 1927. It thoroughly overviews the mountainous island, its transportation network, many culturally significant sites, and leisure destinations.
A Closer Look
Oriented towards the southwest, the view takes in the entire island of Kyushu, with more distant lands along the horizon: the Philippines, Taiwan, Chinese coastal cities (Shanghai, Qingdao, Tianjin, Dalian), and the Korean Peninsula. Large and small cities (including Nagasaki near center, Miyazaki at bottom-left, Fukuoka at right, and Shimonoseki, the westernmost point on Honshu, at bottom-right), Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, hot springs, rail and shipping lines, waterways, and other features are indicated throughout. Kyushu is known for its volcanic mountains, with Mount Aso (阿蘇山), just left of center, being the most active volcano in Japan. One silver lining of this prevalence of volcanic mountains is the large number of hot springs on the island.
Verso Content
The verso provides a highly detailed travel guide on rail lines connecting cities and the various attractions throughout Kyushu. At center is an advertisement for Club (クラブ) Cosmetics, displaying the multistage process of applying different powders and creams to arrive at 'beauty' (美人). The cover at left consists of an illustration of a mother and daughter contemplating the same view on the recto. The clear marketing of the map to women is significant, reflecting their more prominent social and economic role during the Taishō era.
Publication History and Census
This view was drawn by Yoshida Hatsusaburō, printed by the Seiban Printing Company, and published as a supplement to the New Year's (January 1) 1927 edition of the Osaka Mainichi Shimbun. It is notable for being dated January 1, Taishō 16, a date which technically never occurred as the Taishō Emperor died on Christmas Day 1926, initiating an extremely brief first year of the Shōwa Emperor, making 1927 Shōwa 2.


Yoshida Hatsusaburō (吉田初三郎, March 4, 1884 - August 16, 1955) was a Japanese illustrator and painter of birds-eye views active during the Taisho and Showa periods. Yoshida was born in Kyoto and apprenticed under Takeshiro Kanokgoi (1874 - 1941). Yoshida is significant for pioneering the use parallel perspective birds-eye views to illustrate Japanese bus and railroad transit networks. His first birds-eye view, completed in 1914, illustrated the Keihan railway and was highly praised by no less than Hirohito, then a prince but soon to be the Shōwa Emperor. With the Emperor's approval, Yoshida's views became widely popular and were adopted by the Ministry of Railways for the illustration all of its major public transportation networks. His style was so fashionable and distinctive that an entire genre was named after him (初三郎式絵図), and his works helped to spur a domestic tourism boom in the 1920s – 1930s. Most of his work consisted of city and regional views, though larger views encompassing the entirety of Japan do exist. Yoshida's most significant piece is most likely his rendering of the Hiroshima bombing, which was published in an English language magazine in 1949. He took on Tsunemitsu Kaneko as an assistant and apprentice in the early 1930s. Eventually Kaneko started making parallel perspective views of his own and became Yoshida's primary rival. Although he made over 3,000 maps in his lifetime, Yoshida was known to dedicate months to research and preparation for particular maps. For his 1949 Hiroshima map and his striking depiction of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, he adopted a journalistic approach and spoke to many survivors of the disasters. More by this mapmaker...

The Osaka Mainichi Shimbun (大阪毎日新聞; 1876 - 1942) was an Osaka based daily newspaper active in the late 19th and early 20th century. The Osaka Mainichi Shimbun (大阪毎日新聞, Osaka Daily News) was founded in 1876 as Osaka Nippo(大阪日報). In 1888 it was renamed Osaka Mainichi Shimbun. In 1911 it merged with the Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun (東京日日新聞), but both companies continued to print their newspapers independently until 1943, they were consolidated under the Mainichi Shimbun (毎日新聞, Daily News) masthead. The Mainichi Shimbun is today one of Japans larges and longest lasting newspapers. Learn More...

Seiban Printing Co. (精版印刷株式會社; fl. c. 1925 - 1945) was an Osaka-based publisher in the early Showa period. A number of contemporaneous publishing houses used Seiban (or Seihan) in their name (帝国精版印刷, 京都精版印刷社, 日本精版印刷), but were evidently distinct from this publishing house, which specialized in producing maps of the Japanese Empire (such as Manchukuo and occupied areas of China), often for the Osaka Mainchi Shimbun. The company published its own brief history in English in 1929 (A brief history of the Seihan Printing Company Limited, OCLC 843142406), suggesting that the company had already existed for some time by that point. Learn More...


Average. Surface wear at fold lines with minor loss. Several splits along fold lines, joined and repaired on verso. Tear from fold line on second rightmost panel extending two inches, repaired on verso. Professional facsimile infill on upper and lower right corners, both approx. 1 inch surface area, covering margin and tiny portion of map content.


OCLC 1020956174.