1862 Japanese Sato Seiyo Map of the World on Mercator Projection

新刊舆地全圖 / Kankyo Shinkan Yochi Zenzu. / Newly Edited Map of the Whole World. - Main View

1862 Japanese Sato Seiyo Map of the World on Mercator Projection


The first Japanese map of the World on a Mercator Projection.


新刊舆地全圖 / Kankyo Shinkan Yochi Zenzu. / Newly Edited Map of the Whole World.
  1862 (dated)     54 x 54 in (137.16 x 137.16 cm)     1 : 34200000


An impressive 1862 (Bunkyū 2) Japanese map of the world by Seiyo Sato. This is an enormous and graphically impressive map covering the entire world on Mercator's projection and surrounded by 159 flags of various foreign nations. It identifies the routes of various explorers throughout with extensive annotation along the bottom of the map prepared by Sato Masayaoshi in 1861. All text is in Sino-Japanese characters, as was standard when this map was issued. While apparently outdated when compared to European maps of the period, this map was revolutionary in Japan where it was the first map to be issued on a Mercator Projection - thus ushering in a new global perspective in Japanese cartography. The text claims that this map follows an 1857 map of C. F. Sammler - most likely introduced to Japan by Dutch arms dealers in Yokohama, Edward and Henry Schnell, but we have not been able to identify this source map. It was engraved by Takeguchi Ryuzaburo and Kamimura Fukusaburo. The extensive annotation was composed by Tobikawa Yoshikuni and Kimura Takeshi. It was published by Yorozuya Heishiro in Edo. While occasionally appearing in institutional collections, this map is extremely rare with no record on the private market.


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. Learn More...


Very good. Minor traditional repairs along some folds. Else clean.


Yamashita, Kazumasa (traslated by De Wolf, Charles) Japanese Maps of the Edo Period, page 39. OCLC 222503925. Univ. of California Library, Berkeley, East Asian Library, A12. University of British Columbia Library, G3200.1862 T2.