An extraordinary discovery, this is the first Japanese map of Shanghai, China, and one of the earliest printed maps of Shanghai. Published in 1873, or Meiji 6, this large format map covers Qing Shanghai's old foreign district. From the conflux of the Huangpu River and the Wusong River, the map extends westward to, roughly, the modern day Xisang Middle Road, south to, roughly, Fangbang Middle Road, and eastward along the Huangpu River to the Dalian Road Tunnel.
This map was commissioned by Shinagawa Tadamichi (1841 - 1891), the first Japanese consul-general of Shanghai, who was appointed by the Meiji government one year earlier in January of 1872. To paraphrase from vice-counsel Seifu Naritomi's (1838 - 1882) introductory text in the lower right-hand corner,
Mr. Shinagawa suffered greatly from the complexities of Shanghai. Old records, though they did exist, were piecemeal and did not capture the whole. As a result, they left the viewer with little certainty but often the annoyance of getting lost.
Tadamichi commissioned the Japanese artist and view maker Sadahide Hashimoto (橋本貞秀) (1807 - 1878) to produce this large map of Shanghai. Hashimoto based the outline of the map on a British port survey composed by J. Minett Hockly, the Shanghai British Settlement's Harbor Master from c. 1866 to his death in 1868. This was then reformatted, expanded, and revised into a city plan by Yosuke Miyake. According to Naritomi,
The end product was of a quality commensurate with Western standards, and praised by Westerners. It displayed, in very elaborate details, the river's situation and the terrain's layout. A person who has never traveled in Shanghai can see at a glance, as if on one's own palm, which areas are called which streets, which river banks have which piers, which district contains which foreign country's mansions, etc. The urgency with which the map was then sent to the engraver was apropos, as it would serve the public interest and help those who travel to Shanghai.
This map was engraved and printed by Kamachi Jūzō (1840 - 1891). We are aware of only two known examples of this rare and significant map: the present example and another in Tokyo's National Diel Library. A once in a lifetime opportunity for the serious Shanghai collector.
Shinagawa Tadamichi (1841 - 1891) was a Japanese diplomat active in Japan and China during the second half of the 19th century. Tadamichi was Japan's first Consul-General in Shanghai, China. The Sino-Japanese Friendship Treaty (Sino-Japanese Amity Regulations) established formal diplomatic relations between China and Meiji Japan in 1871. One year later, on January 29 of 1872, the Meiji government opened an embassy in Beijing, and a consulate in Shanghai. Shinagawa Tadamichi was appointed to be the first Japanese Consul-General of Shanghai.
Sadahide Hashimoto (橋本貞秀) (1807 - 1878) was a Japanese pro-foreign artist active in Yokohama in the second half of the 19th century. He was born in Chiba Prefecture. Hashimoto is best known for his renderings of foreigners, in particular Western peoples and customs, as observed while living in the open port of Yokohama. He is considered to be a disciple of Takako Kunisada, another artist of the Toyokuni Utagawa school. Hashimoto met Kunisada in 1826, when he was 14 years old and most of his early work reflects the work of Kunisada. From about 1859 onwards he developed an interested in geography and began issuing maps and bird's-eye views, some quite large over multiple panels, of Japanese cities. He was a mentor to Hideki Utagawa.
Very good. Minor verso restoration and reinforcement. Some wear and foiling on fold lines.