1887 Inoue Map of Tokyo

明細改正東京新圖 / [Detailed, Revised New Map of Tokyo]. - Main View

1887 Inoue Map of Tokyo


A striking map of Meiji-era Tokyo.


明細改正東京新圖 / [Detailed, Revised New Map of Tokyo].
  1887 (dated)     28 x 19.5 in (71.12 x 49.53 cm)     1 : 27000


A stunning and highly detailed 1887 city plan of Tokyo produced by Inoue Katsugorō. It highlights the growth of the city during the Meiji era and its division into wards and neighborhoods.
A Closer Look
Oriented towards the north with the imperial palace (皇居) at center, this map takes in the various wards (區) and districts or neighborhoods (町) of Tokyo. In the outlying parts of the city, counties (郡) are divided into villages (村). Wards and counties are color coded to easily distinguish them and are indexed with their constituent neighborhoods or villages at bottom-right. Lands of the imperial family are shaded a deep crimson, while lands belonging to the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy are tinted grey. Parks, temples, and shrines are also indicated, with some of the larger temples, such as the Sensō-ji (浅草寺) and Gokoku-ji (護国寺), illustrated. Additional features are noted according to the legend below the title at top-left.
A Bustling Imperial Capital
Tokyo and several other Japanese cities went through a dizzying period of administrative reforms during the Meiji era, due to the pace of their growth as well as changing bureaucratic practices and conceptions of governance. Initially, elements of the Tokugawa system of wards were maintained to appease elites who feared more rapid reforms. Then, in 1871 – 1872, Tokyo Prefecture was expanded and a system of 'large and small wards' (大區小區制) was put into place. These changes, along with the growth of the city, necessitated regular updates to maps, as evidenced by Inoue's regular issuing of updated editions of the present map (see 'Publication History and Census' below).
Meiji Era Tokyo
With the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the Tokugawa were displaced from Edo and the Emperor Meiji moved the imperial capital from Kyoto to Edo (renamed Tokyo, 'eastern capital'). The Meiji era was a period of tremendous change in Japan, particularly in cities, and in Tokyo more than any other. Most of the daimyo from throughout Japan who had maintained residences in Edo left with their families, briefly but significantly reducing the population and wealth of the city. At the same time, new ideas, technologies, and fashions from abroad were sought out and adopted with incredible rapidity, and in the process were localized to suit Japanese tastes.

Building on the foundations of Tokugawa Edo, Meiji-era Tokyo intermingled traditional architecture with styles reminiscent of Victorian London. Even the layout of the city was hybrid; here we can see Nihonbashi (日本橋) and Kyobashi (京橋), historically the most densely populated areas of Edo, as well as recent additions like Shimbashi Station (here marked 新橋停車場), Tokyo's first railway station, and the industrialization of Fukagawa (深川), east of the Sumida River. Much of Tokyo as it exists here would be destroyed in the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake and again by American bombs in the closing months of World War II.
Publication History and Census
This map was produced (edited and published) by Inoue Katsugorō in 1887 (Meiji 20). The cover also notes the involvement of Kunshidō (薰志堂), a Tokyo publishing house, and the bookshop Tōkyō Shoshi (東京書肆), presumably where it was sold. It was issued with some regularity by Inoue in the 1880s and 1890s, but nevertheless is quite scarce. In the United States, only the University of California Berkeley holds editions of this map, from 1885, 1886, and 1888. The only known examples of the 1887 edition in institutional collections are held by the Hosei University Research Center for Edo-Tokyo Studies and the National Diet Library.


Inoue Mohei (井上茂兵衛; 1852 - 1927) was a Japanese cartographer and publisher active in the Meiji period. At the end of the nineteenth century, he served as the head of the Tokyo Jihon Engraving Sales Association (東京地本彫画営業組合), a descendent of the publishers' guilds (地本問屋) that produced ukiyo-e, popular literature, and other essential cultural production of the Tokugawa era. Inoue generally produced nishiki-e (錦絵), an elaborated form of ukiyo-e that were very popular during the Meiji period and which often depicted the introduction or influence of foreign technology, fashion, and ideas in Japan. More by this mapmaker...


Average. Wear along fold lines, with small areas of loss at fold intersections. Wormholes along vertical fold line at left and at right margin. Noticeable smudge at right towards top. Other minor imperfections. Original cover attached.


NDL Call No. YG913-1051. Hosei University Research Center for Edo-Tokyo Studies, No. 2021A-01.