1853 Japanese World Map
Shintei - Chikyu Bankoku Hozu (Square Map of all the Countries on the Globe) --
An 1853 (Kaei 6) Japanese world map by Suido Nakajima. Presented on a Mercator projection, this map marks a big advancement in Japanese cartography and a more nuanced adaptation of western cartographic standards than shown before Japanese world maps.
As a whole this map offers a sophisticated cartographic presentation of the world embracing the most up to date cartographic knowledge available in the mid-19th century. Though adapted to the Japanese printing style, this map presents a generally accurate world view. British Claims to Washington and British Columbia are noted in North America, Australia and the Pacific are accurately rendered, as are the discoveries of Vitus Bering and James Cook in the Arctic, and Africa is clearly pre-Speke. The disputed East Sea / Sea of Japan / Sea of Korea is here labeled as the Sea of Joseon (Korea), which some scholars suggests indicates Japanese acceptance of the “Sea of Korea” convention. Four hemispheres appear in the lower left quadrant, from left, the southern, northern, eastern, and western. All are on a stereographic projection.
The map is printed on woodblock and hand colored in vivid, blues, greens, oranges, and yellows. A fine example of the redefined Japanese cartography style of the later Tokugawa period.
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