A rare panoramic view of Hakone, Japan, dating to the 1950s. This map was drawn by Tomiteru Takaoa. Shows railways and roads well as topography. Mt. Fuji rises in the distance. This uncommon type of map evolved from the exposure of traditional Japanese view-style cartography to western technology. Views like this began to appear in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea in the early 20th century. Generally speaking such maps coincided with the development of railroad lines throughout the once vast Dai Nippon Teikoku or Japanese empire. It is a distinctive style full of artistic flourish that at the same time performs a practical function. This particular example is both relatively early and exceptionally beautiful. It was printed via a multi-color chromolithographic process with delicately shaded tones and an easily comprehensible intuitive design. essentially a transportation map, it shows the major and minor rail lines throughout Hakone.
Hakone (Hakone-machi) is a town in Ashigarashimo District in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Hakone is located in the mountainous far west of the prefecture, on the eastern side of Hakone Pass. Most of the town is within the borders of the volcanically active Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, around Lake Ashi, shown here at top center. Hakone is the location of a noted Shinto shrine, the Hakone Gongen, which is mentioned in Heian period literature. During the Gempei War, Minamoto no Yoritomo prayed at this shrine for victory over his enemies. As with the rest of Sagami Province, the area came under the control of the late Ho-jo- clan of Odawara during the Sengoku period. After the start of the edo period, Hakone-juku was a post station on the To-kaido highway connecting edo with Kyoto. It was also the site of a major barrier and official checkpoint on the route known as the Hakone Checkpoint (Hakone sekisho), which formed the border of the Kanto- region. Under the Tokugawa Shogunate, all travelers entering and leaving edo along the To-kaido were stopped here by officials, where their travel permits and baggage were examined. After the start of the Meiji Restoration, Hakone became a part of the short-lived Ashigara Prefecture before becoming part of Ashigarashimo District in Kanagawa prefecture in August 1876. Hakone attained town status in 1889. After merger with five neighboring towns and villages in September 1956, it reached its present boundaries.
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. Even so, Japan's isolationist policy kept most western maps from reaching Japan so even 19th century maps appear extremely out of date. The early Japanese maps copy the great 1602 Chinese world map of the friar Matto Ricci. After Shiba Kokan's 1792 map, most Japanese cartographers used Covens and Mortier's 1730 copy of Jaillot's 1689 double hemisphere work as their base world-view. In 1862 Seiyo Sato based a new world map on Dutch sources dating to 1857, thus introducing the Mercator projection to Japan. By the late Meiji Era, western maps became far more common in Asia and Japanese maps began to follow modern conventions. More by this mapmaker...
Very good condition. Minor wear on original fold lines.