Western Influence on Edo meisho no e

Throughout centuries, Japan was considered as one of the strongest countries among Asia in terms of modernization and cultural development. The history of Japan is often being studied by many scholars to determine the factors influencing its development, and some of these influential factors came from Western countries. Although the accurate time period of beginning of Western influences on Japanese culture is ambiguous due to different aspects of historical records, it can be asserted that the Japanese artists were under Western influences towards the end of Edo period, which was around late 19th century. According to Danielle, the Western artistic styles were introduced to the Japanese artists despite the isolationist policies, and “new Western-inspired artistic styles were incorporated into Japanese artwork effectively producing a novel and popular artistic tradition.” The Japanese maps and other paintings created during the Edo period often served to show how the Western influence had affected the traditional Japanese drawing styles.

The map, “Edo meisho no e,” was created by Kuwagata, Shoshin in 1803, and as the title suggests, the map is depicting the bird’s eye panoramic view of Edo city from the direction of Honjo during the Edo period. According to Kornicki, a professor of Japanese arts and literature in Cambridge university, suggested that the map’s bold composition fits the entire view of the city on a single page, along with wealth of information about noted spots. He also asserted that from the map illustration, it is evident that Edo was a city of water and greenery that made ingenious use of its river and ocean resources.

Before analyzing the influence of Western techniques on the map, it is crucial to study the historical background of Edo period to understand how the Japanese artists were able to interact with the Western drawing techniques. The term, Edo period, is used to describe the period between 1603 and 1868 in Japan, when the Tokugawa shogunate was ruling the society. During this period, the Japanese society underwent constant economic growth, resulting in stable economy as well as population. The economic development included “urbanization, increased shipping of commodities, a significant expansion of domestic and, initially, foreign commerce, and a diffusion of trade and handicraft industries.” As a result, many Japanese scholars and artists were able to learn about Western sciences and techniques through the abundant information and books brought from Dutch traders. These Western sciences and techniques rapidly influenced many Japanese cultures including art, natural sciences, medicine, and so on. Among many areas that were influenced by Western cultures, perhaps the Japanese arts were most influenced by Western drawing techniques. After the exposure of Western drawing techniques to the Japanese artists, many Japanese artists began to incorporate their drawings with the Western techniques, evolving to a new artistic tradition in Japan. In other words, according to Department of Asian Art, the Japanese artists were “exposed to European artistic styles and began to fuse European and Japanese techniques to produce landscape ukiyo-e, which were eagerly consumed by the Japanese public.” This suggests that the Western techniques naturally assimilated with the traditional Japanese drawing techniques. The influence of Western techniques enabled the Japanese artists to illustrate their drawings without being limited to the traditional Japanese artistic styles.

Since the map was created during the Edo period, its drawing style must have been influenced by the Western techniques. The two techniques that were relatively easy to find were the horizontal picture plane technique and the incorporation of the pigment, Berlin blue. The creator had used the horizontal technique to depict the panoramic view of Edo city so it can have wider spans of landscape. Also, the Fuji mountain in the center of the map is naturally drawing particular attention because of the influence of horizontal technique. The ‘Berlin blue’ pigment was used to illustrate the mountains and rivers or ocean in the map. Although it is quite difficult to reveal the creator’s motives on using Western techniques, it can be asserted that the creator was trying to cope with the new artistic tradition as it was favored by the Japanese public. To elaborate further about these Western techniques, the ‘ukiyo-e’ paintings can be used as an example to illustrate the Western influences on Japanese drawing styles.

The term, ukiyo-e, is used to describe the paintings and woodblock prints that are mainly portraying “the transitory world of the licensed pleasure quarters, the theater and pleasure quarters of Edo, present-day Tokyo, Japan.” The transition of ukiyo-e drawing styles can be observed in the Edo period since the ‘ukiyo-e’ paintings can be differentiated by before and after the Western influences. Before the Japanese artists were exposed to the Western techniques, most of ‘ukiyo-e’ paintings contained images of figures such as kabuki actors or female beauties, and their inspirations often came from everyday lives. After the influence of Western techniques, however, the depicting images of everyday lives started to change into depicting the conventional landscape images and images of named places instead of portraying figures. As the illustration of ‘ukiyo-e’ drawings shifted from figures to landscapes, there were two notable Western techniques used by the Japanese artists, which were the horizontal picture plane technique and the incorporation of the pigment, Berlin blue.

The foremost popular Western technique used by the Japanese artists during the Edo period was called horizontal picture plane technique. As the name suggests, the technique was involved with the orientation of painting where the artists drew paintings horizontally, rather than drawing vertically. The ‘ukiyo-e’ paintings which became popular during the Edo period were supported by the artisans and merchants, also known as chônin. Since these patrons preferred the paintings that reflected their diverse tastes and pursuit of leisure, the everyday lives and activities of Japanese urban residents were generally depicted in the ‘ukiyo-e’ paintings. Most of the ‘ukiyo-e’ paintings during the early Edo period, for example, contained vertically-oriented images of kabuki actors and courtesans dressed in the contemporary fashions of the period. However, these vertical drawings depicting figures slowly started to disappear toward the end of Edo period as the horizontal technique was introduced. As Danielle asserted, during the early 1800’s, the Japanese artists such as Katushika Hokusai “promoted return of the new ukiyo-e tradition to the depiction of conventional landscape images that had been popular amongst earlier styles of Japanese art.” The introduction of Western horizontal technique allowed the Japanese artists to draw wider spans of landscape in their depictions as well as to draw particular attention to certain features or points in the drawing.

Another Western technique that influenced the depiction of ‘ukiyo-e’ paintings was the incorporation of the pigment, Berlin blue. Although it needs to be validated, some researches claimed that the pigment was first created by an accident in a Western chemical factory. The Japanese public was attracted by this pigment because it was a vivid and artificially-produced dye. Also, the introduction of this pigment indicated the end of using traditional colors that were usually created with the natural minerals. During the end of Edo period after the Western pigment was introduced, the ‘Berlin blue’ pigment was used in almost every Japanese painting, not only limited to ukiyo-e.

To summarize, the map, “Edo meisho no e,” is depicting the panoramic view of Edo city with the focus on Fuji mountain by using the Western drawing techniques called the horizontal picture plane and the incorporation of the pigment, Berlin blue. As mentioned above, the influence of Western techniques had a huge impact on the traditional Japanese drawing styles during the Edo period, and many Japanese artists tended to incorporate their drawings with the Western techniques in order to keep up with the modernization. Because of the Western techniques used on the map, the map was able to illustrate more areas with details and the color of river or ocean gave the sense of calm to its viewers. The focus of Fuji mountain in the center of the map can be seen as the absolute power of Tokugawa shogunate at that time because Fuji mountain was often a symbol of Japan.

 

 


Bibliography

 

Department of Asian Art. “Woodblock Prints in the Ukiyo-e Style.” Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/ukiy/hd_ukiy.htm. (Accessed March 6, 2018).

Guth, Christine. Art of Edo Japan: The Artist and the City 1615-1868. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996

Hall, John Whitney. 1988. “Early Modern Japan.” The Cambridge History of Japan 4 (1988): 369-370.

Khanacademy. “The Evolution of Ukiyo-e and Woodblock Prints.” Khanacademy Art of Asia: Edo Period, Japan. https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-asia/art-japan/edo-period/a/the-evolution-of-ukiyo-e-and-woodblock-prints. (Accessed March 7, 2018).

Miki, Tamon. “The Influence of Western Culture on Japanese Art.” Monumenta Nipponica (1964): 380-401.

 

 

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Tōkaidō Meisho Zue

Tōkaidō meisho zue

Tōkaidō Meisho Zue is a woodblock painting by Utagawa Yoshitora made in the year of 1864. The alternative title is “Panoramic view of the noted places along the Tōkaidō”. Just like the title indicated, this painting illustrates the famous places along the high way of Tōkaidō. We can see the area covered in this map is from from Edo to Kyoto because of the explanatory note in the map. For example, in the most upper left, besides the building there is a note writes “kyo”, which means “capital”. In the lower right, besides the bridge the note writes, “Nihon bashi”. Nihon bashi is today one of the landmarks in Tokyo. We can see the lines between different wood blocks from the scanned copy. The whole painting is made up by twelve pieces of panels in all. The title of the painting, “Tōkaidō Meisho Zue” is on the rightest panel, which indicates the direction of the painting is from Edo in the right end to Kyodo in the left end.

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The creator, Utagawa Yoshitora, is the student of Utagawa Kuniyoshi, a member of the Utagawa School. The Utagawa School is named after the founder Utagawa Toyoharu (Nagai, 2012, p.225). In the Edo period, ukiyo-e is a very popular genre among the Japanese artists from the 17th century. The peaceful time and economic development during the Edo period has made artworks available to a lot of common people, or in today terms, middle class. The term, ukiyo-e, literally means pictures of the floating world in Japanese, and it is a metaphor for the common world in contrast to elite world. Most people who consumed the artworks were common people, especially merchants. Therefore, the everyday lives of common people is an important theme of ukiyo-e art, including kabuki actors, geisha, or even just one or two people walking on the street. When common people became rich enough in the end of Edo period and start to travel, the travel scenes and landscapes became another topic for ukiyo-e artists, just like this painting, an illustration of the Tokaido highway. The creator of this woodblock painting, Utagawa Yoshitora is himself a ukiyo-e artist. But when he was active, the genre of ukiyo-e is declining. Only four years after he created this painting, 1868, the Edo period was ended by the Meiji Restoration, and the traditional ukiyo-e art became no longer popular. The declining popularity of the ukiyo-e art is mainly because the preference of the western style arts. Even in the time of Utagawa Toyoharu, the founder of Utagawa School, the artist “copied Dutch copperplate print landscapes of Venice, Amsterdam, and other places and turned them into color woodblock prints” (Nagai, 225). So the artists of that generation were already influenced by the western arts. So the audience can find elements of both western arts and ukiyo-e art in this painting.

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For example, we can notice that this painting use very bright and contrasting colors, which is common in ukiyo-e artworks, especially for the creator Yoshitora’s teacher, Kuniyoshi. In another Japanese author, Kafu Nagai’s words, “Kuniyoshi’s art is always filled with vitality, and his line-drawing is usually admirably clear and precise. He fondly mixes red and indigo and utilizes extremely clear apple green, and he demonstrates the beauty of color tone that one sees in woodblock printing before the Bunka period. Yet in depicting warriors in battle, quite to the contrary, he matches the coloring to the theme by deliberately using many contrasting colors to collide and confuse” (Nagai, 2012, p.227). From this painting, we can clearly see the influence of Kuniyoshi on Yoshitora. The use of bright colors in this painting is in stark contrast of another school of Japanese painting in the Edo period called Bunjinga. Bunjinga literally means “literati painting”. The artists in this school deem themselves as the scholars and elites of the society. The feature of Bunjinga is that this school of painting was heavily influenced by the Chinese painting, shan shui painting. Shan shui means mountain and water, so the common theme in the shan shui genre is scenery and natural landscapes such as mountains. The most obvious feature of shan shui painting or Bunjinga painting is its use of light color. One of the most famous bunjinga artists in Japan is Ike no Taiga in the Edo period. If you compare the painting of Taiga with this one, one can immediately notice their different use of color. “The combination of pink and blue pigment, also a direct reference to Chinese painting, had appeared in the work of the first generation of Japanese masters who allied themselves with Chinese literati art” (Takeuchi, 1992, p7). One reason of the light color use is that the bunjinga and shan shui painting is painted with ink on paper and every piece of them are unique works, whereas the ukiyo-e woodblock painting is for mass production. The coloring on the woodblocks is a much easier process. This is similar to the Western oil painting, because the oil is usually very thick in the Western oil painting. Because the different nature of the pigment, the artist can easily control and change the color, whereas in the shan shui painting, once the painting is finished, it is very hard to re-color. Despite the contrast of use of color, there is one common thing between bunjinga painting and ukiyo-e painting. Influenced by Chinese shan shui painting, the artists of both genres would incorporate poetry into their paintings.

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Another feature of ukiyo-e artwork is the incorporation of common people in the painting. For example, there are many people depicted in this painting. This map is really between the genre of map and painting, because usually in the map, the life of people will not be included if the map wants to be informative and descriptive only. Therefore the intended audience should be fans of arts and painting, instead of travellers. There are marching armies, working people along the river loading the ships, horses, boatmen, etc. This is very similar to one of the most famous Chinese paintings called Along the River During the Qingming Festival. This Chinese painting is also a long scroll map of the Chinese capital city with many ordinary people depicted in it. Both paintings are not for people who intend to travel along the Tokaido or Chinese capital. According to Robert Goree, a scholar on Japanese visual culture, “the consumers of [the whole genre of] meisho zue did not use them as travel guidebooks, but rather as stimulants to engage in a premodern mode of virtual travel, by which they enjoyed vicarious experiences of place without the attendant corporeal and economic drawbacks of physical travel” (2017, p.75). In other words, both Along the River During the Qingming Festival and meisho zue of this type have the function of comic books, which tells story to the audience. In another Utagawa member, Utagawa Hiroshige’s famous ukiyo-e painting, “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō”, the common people’s life is an important source and theme in the paintings. It seems that this is a tradition for the Utagawa artists. In other artworks with similar titles in the Tokugawa Open collection, such as “Tokaido meishgi ichiran” by Hokusai Katsushika, “Miyako meisho zue” by Mahiko Kawakita, “Edo meishi no e” by Shoshin Kuwagata, the painting serves more mapping function than story-telling function. This is also the conclusion of Traganou in her investigation of many meisho zue about the highway along Tokaido, “During the Edo period, the Tōkaidō figured in the collective imagination as a space of play and release, while at the same time it was the locus of famous places (meisho), poetically attested locales that were scattered within the territory of Japan… Notions and concepts embodied by such material expand beyond the narrow definition of the road as a traveling route” (2004, p.1). To take this paining by Yoshitora as an example of the artist’s inaccurate representation of the Hokaido, the distance from Kyoto to the Mount Fuji is about twice as long as that from Edo to the Mount Fuji, whereas the fact is that the distance from Kyoto to the Mount Fuji is much more than the painting. This is only one small example of the artist selective and inaccurate representation of the Tokaido.

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This painting of Yoshitora is discussed in two bigger contexts. One is the genre of ukiyo-e art under the Western influence, and the other is a variety of function that the genre of “meisho zue” serve at the Edo period. In summary, there are a few similarities between ukiyo-e art works and western oil painting we are able to notice in this painting. The feature of their production process allows the artist to use contrasting and bright colors in their works, and also the western geometrical perspective also influence Japanese artist’s works. But different from the Western oil painting that strives to reproduce the subjects precisely, this paining is far more than a precise and accurate representation of the Tokaido highway. Instead, in this category of meisho zue in Edo Japan, many artists only choose what they want to represent in a selective way and help the audience wander in their works in their imaginations.

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Works Cited

Goree, Robert. “”Meisho Zue” and the Mapping of Prosperity in Late Tokugawa Japan.”

Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review, no. 23, 2017, pp. 73-107.

Nagai, Kafū, Selden, Kyoko Iriye,, tr, and Alisa Freedman tr. “Ukiyo-e Landscapes and

Edo Scenic Places (1914).” Review of Japanese Culture and Society, vol. 24, no. 1, 2012, pp. 210-232.

Takeuchi, Melinda. Taiga’s True Views: The Language of Landscape Painting in

Eighteenth-Century Japan. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif, 1992.

Traganou, Jilly. The Tōkaidō Road: Traveling and Representation in Edo and Meiji

Japan. RoutledgeCurzon, New York, 2004.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bankoku no zue

 

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Fig 1. Bankoku no zue, courtesy of UBC Rare Books and Special Collections

 

Bankoku no zue, is a map attributed to Yoshiharu Koyano and was made in the late Edo period, in the year 1800. The word “bankoku” means “all nations” or “myriad lands”,[1] with “map of all nations” being an alternate title to this work. Bankoku no zue is a fascinating example of a map primarily due to its little regard and adherence to the world’s geography.The general shape of Eurasia and the African continent can be made out, however, the representation of the Americas is arbitrary at best and exist in a form similar to the string of islands south of Alaska. This map is part of a lineage of maps in the Japanese world map tradition, and bears direct influence of bankoku ichiranzu.[2]

According to the UBC library where this map is currently kept, bankoku ichiranzu was intended for use by pupils in a private school.[3] Despite the ichiranzu being more geographically accurate, or rather, bearing more resemblance to geography, its use in private schools suggests an educational purpose. The detailing in the world in terms of  “sangoku” (three realms of Japan); “shintan” (mainland that included China and Korea) and “tenjiku” (India) is given considerable thought.[4] This map reflects more of a pre-sixteenth century Japanese conception of the world around them.[5] Following Toby, we can understand this map as being in line with Buddhist cosmology, where cartography favoured tenjiku centred maps. Due to the map’s educational context, we can assume that the audience was less concerned with accurate geographic representation and sought an abstract representation of the world loosely based on Buddhist cosmology-derived cartography.

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Fig 2. Bankoku ichiranzu, courtesy of UBC Rare Books and Special Collections

In bankoku no zue, there exists a clear stylistic evolution, that now posits the sangoku or Japan in the centre. The previous attention to detailing is cast aside in favour of an abstract depiction of the world all around. Quizzically, there exist two red seas, one in the middle east and the other, labelled “east red sea” between north and south America. Noting this, we are posed to ask the following question:

  • How does this map help us understand the Japanese imagination of the world around them?

Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities paved the way for much of today’s studies on conceptions of nation-hood and the idea of the nation-state. He holds that national identity is imagined and that the its members are tied together through a shared imagination of what it means to be part of the nation-state. In late-Edo Japan, we can surmise that the “nation” of Japan, was constructed as in engagement with “imagined communities” of Others.[6] Japan during this period was under a period of isolation from the outside world. While this isolation does not necessarily mean that there was no contact at all between the Japanese people and the outside world, it does imply that such contact likely occurred under special circumstances, such as trade.

In the map, Japan is pictured centred and positioned relatively north when compared to the Eurasian continent. Considering the positioning of Japan in geography, we can attest that it is quite isolated from the rest of the Eurasian continent. With the exception of the immediate east and southeast of Japan, there are no other landmasses and populations. However, in bankoku no zue, the viewer is given the impression that Japan is the centre of the world, or at the very least is connected and close to much of the rest of the world.

Toby suggests that the Japanese self was constructed very much in relation to their imagination of the Other(s).[7] This construction of Japanese-ness based on the imagined otherness of those around them may have to do with the relative non-existence of foreign travellers (bar those from China or Korea) till the encroachment of the Europeans. This encounter resulted in the displacement of sangoku cartography into one of bankoku. Thus, in order to construct nationhood in the context of sakoku come the seventeenth century, the Japanese relied as much on European constructions of the world and of their own imaginations. It may be so that bankoku no zue is an attempt at rationalizing a combined vision of bankoku cartography in the style of sangoku.

This map was conceived of at a time when Japan’s isolationist policy or sakoku was waning. Though the end of this policy would not be for another sixty or so years, the public was altogether aware of the true geographic reality of the world around them. By the nineteenth century, Ricci derived maps of the world has had plenty of time to spread and permeate through much of Japan. If this map was attributed to the beginning of the sakoku period, then it could be argued that it functioned as a construction of reality for the Japanese of the world around them. Since the map’s timestamp is from the early nineteenth century, we can surmise that this particular representation had more to do with style and/or propaganda.

Judging from the representation of the Americas, we can assert that the map was purely stylistic, and that there is no particular reason for the fashioning of world in such a manner. That said, the central positioning of Japan lends itself to the idea that, quite contrary to sokaku, the map is being used to further the connection to the rest of the world that geographic reality does not allow. In a roundabout manner, this map furthers the notion that Japan was indeed isolated, both geographically and as a matter of policy. In order, for the bankoku no zue to have an audience as a legitimate cartographic creation, the audience must be blind, either by choice or not, to geographic reality. Despite its abstractness, the bankoku no zue is an attempt at rationalist categorization, one that very likely is a product of fusion between sangoku and bankoku cosmologies.

Endnotes

[1] Alison R. Parman, “A World in Print; Foreigners in Japan’s Early Modern Bankoku Jinbutsu-Zu” (University of Oregon, 2016), iv.

[2] Yoshiharu Koyano, “Bankoku Ichiranzu” (place of publication unknown: publisher not identified, 1809), https://doi.org/10.14288/1.0227921.

[3] Koyano.

[4] Ronald P. Toby, “Three Realms/Myriad Countries: An ‘Ethnography’ of Other and the Re-Bounding of Japan, 1550-1750,” in Constructing Nationhood in Modern East Asia, ed. Poshek Chow, Kai-wing; Doak, Kevin Michael; Fu (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001), 18.

[5] Toby, 18.

[6] Toby, 16.

[7] Toby, 38.

Maps of Kyōto & Aniline Dye

 

Anyone who has been on a tall mountain, or a lookout tower, or even on a plane during takeoff will know the instinct to search for one’s own house and if you have ever successfully spotted it you surely know the excitement of doing so. That is exactly how I felt when our class was first introduced to the Tokugawa Map Collection of the UBC Rare Books and Special Collections and they laid out four different maps of Kyōto from the 19th century. I used to live in Kyōto for a year as part of my Japanese studies so naturally I felt the urge to see if I could find my house in the neighbourhood of Narutaki on them and loudly proclaimed to everyone in childish excitement when in fact I managed to locate it on every single one of these maps. That is when I knew I had found the topic for this blog post.  

My neighbourhood of Narutaki in the two maps of Kōto.

I narrowed my project down to two maps, the Kaisei kyō machiezu saiken taisei (改正京町絵図細見大成) by Nakamura Nagahide, Inoue Jihei, and Takehara Yoshibei from 1831 as well as the Kaisei shinpan Kyōto-ku kumiwake meisho shinzu (改正新判京都區組分名所新図) by Kazatsuki Shōzaemon, and Kabai Tatsunoshin from 1887.

 

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Kaisei kyō machiezu saiken taisei (改正京町絵図細見大成) by Nakamura Nagahide, Inoue Jihei, and Takehara Yoshibei, 1831.

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Kaisei shinpan Kyōto-ku kumiwake meisho shinzu (改正新判京都區組分名所新図)by Kazatsuki Shōzaemon, and Kabai Tatsunoshin, 1887.

 If you have read any of my fellow-researchers’ posts or seen any of the maps of larger Japanese cities they have discussed, you will surely notice that Kyōto stands out in terms of its structural layout. To the average North-American reader, it probably resembles a North-American “checkerboard”-style city more than any other larger Japanese city. The reason for this stands obviously in no relation to North-America though, as Kyōto was constructed in the year of 794, after it has been chosen as the new capitol of Japan due to a religious-political scandal in the previous, short-lived capitol of Nara forcing a “fresh start” in a different place. In fact, the reason Kyōto looks this way is because it has been modelled directly after the capital of Tang China, Chang’an, with the royal court (Nijō Castle in the case of Kyōto) being located at the centre top of the city and the numbered avenues descending horizontally from the court representing a decline in social status for the residents.

These two maps have 56 years separating them, however, looking at the city of Kyōto as depicted in both of them, there doesn’t seem to be much change at all, no notable ones at least. They even span roughly the same area. The styles of cartography don’t seem to have changed much either. Unlike the first map, the second map has its focus on presenting “famous places”, the so-called meisho (all of which still exist to this day and continue to make up popular tourist destinations) which explains the numerous pictures of said places around the map, however, that is a difference in purpose of the maps and not in cartographic methods. Those remain largely unchanged, they both use symbols of trees, mountains, and temples, have descriptive writing on key buildings and locations, and they both indicate buildings of the inner city by coloured squares, grouping them in “blocks”. Further research didn’t show any meaningful pattern in the colourization of buildings and a legend is not provided in either map, furthering the assumption that there is no significance in colour choice. It is exactly the colour, however, that makes for the biggest and most interesting contrast between these two maps. Looking at the maps side by side, the second one figuratively jumps at one with just how much bright pink is applied all over it. It resembles a middle schooler trying out their new pink highlighter more than a revised and highly detailed guide to locations in the old capital of unspeakable historical, spiritual, and political significance. Unfortunately, the digital version of the second map even has its brightness decreased in comparison to the physical original which is even much brighter and flashy. So while extensive use of colour was a common practice in both maps (as well as other Japanese maps), it is the quality of the colour that appears to have changed significantly in the five decades between 1831 and 1887.

Any student of Japanese history surely already noticed that a historically immensely significant event happened in between the issue of these two maps, namely the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Up until that point, Japan remained in seclusion under the shogunal issue of sakoku (lit. closed country). With the Meiji Restoration, however, came not only the opening of the country to the West but also a heightened awareness of the need to modernize and adapt Western technologies as well as stimulate the economy. One of the industries that was made possible to advance under these circumstances was that of synthetic dyes. Up until this point, Japan mostly used natural dyes such as indigo for blue, safflower for yellow, thistle petals for red, and so on (Parmal 2004, 398; Cesaratto et al 2018, 2; Whitmore and Cast 2013, 30). It was already roughly a decade before the Meiji Restoration that a foreign owned firm for textile dyes opened in Kyōto in the year 1859 and one of the dyes that this firm brought into Japan was the synthetic Aniline dye, invented by William Henry Perkin in Great Britain in 1856. This dye was originally purple but expanded to be available in the colours pink, red and even green as well, and between all these colours it shares one key characteristic: the neon-esque brightness (Parmal 2004, 399). So bright in fact that later works of Japanese artists such as Utagawa Hiroshige’s 1874 woodblock print “Scenic View of Tokyo Enlightenment: Prosperity of Brick and Stone Shops on Both Sides of Ginza Street” have been criticized by Japanese and non-Japanese alike as being too “garish” (Cesaratto 2018, 1) or “not elegant” (Mihara 1943, 245).

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“Scenic View of Tokyo Enlightenment: Prosperity of Brick and Stone Shops on Both Sides of Ginza Street” by Utagawa Hiroshige, 1874.

The fact that Aniline dye was not only far more expensive than other dyes but also initially purple, a colour which is associated with wealth and power in Japan, caught the eyes of many of the social elite in Japan and so it quickly grew in popularity, further boosted when a famous dyer by the name of Izutsuya Tadasuke began using it (Parmal 2004, 399-400). It was only thanks to the growth of the economy as well as international trade during the Meiji that Aniline dye left this small elitist circle and could be used for a wide array of products, ranging from kimonos to woodblock prints and maps such as the Kaisei shinpan Kyōto-ku kumiwake meisho shinzu that is at discussion here (Hashino 2007, 37).

This brings us to 1887, the year that this map was produced. I have established that Aniline dye was known to and used by Japan at this point but exactly how common or how novel would it have been in the year 1887 precisely? Fortunately, the amount of import of different kinds of dye, including Aniline dye, has been recorded and archived. Import was the only reliable source of synthetic dyes in Japan at the time as national production has not yet begun (Hashino 2007, 39-41). With this data, it is possible to answer this answer this question concretely (see Table 1).

Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 1.15.37 PM        Table 1.

According to these statistics, one can see that despite its fairly early introduction to Japan in 1859, Aniline dye was not or could not be imported in large quantities until the 1880’s. Furthermore, it is precisely in the year 1887, the year the Kaisei shinpan Kyōto-ku kumiwake meisho shinzu was released, that the highest increase in Aniline dye to date was recorded at 184.1 tons, an increase of 69 tons compared to the previous year. A higher increase did not occur until 1894. 

Judging by this, it appears that in the year 1887, Aniline dye was still a fairly novel product, the excitement for which resulting in high demand. So maybe the joking analogy of the middle-schooler trying out their new highlighter in excitement was not all that far off from reality. Kazatsuki Shōzaemon, and Kabai Tatsunoshin were not middle-schoolers, however, it appears as though they have found themselves in the same situation of having a novel and exciting new form of colouring that they were eager to use, possibly in excess.

Undoubtedly, these maps of Kyōto, like any of the items in the Rare Books and Special Collections repertoire, provide countless of fascinating grounds for further studies and scholarly work, the usage and evolution of dyes only being one of them. This brief discussion of dye goes to demonstrate a fundamental insight regarding the study of maps: It is this kind of close observation of maps and every aspect of them that reveal the deeper relevance of them for educating about larger aspects of a culture such as the economy, history, society, politics, or the development of technologies. One would be gravely incorrect, therefore, to assume that maps are only records of geography, cartography, or my house in the ancient capital.

 

 

 

Bibliography

Cesaratto, Anna, Yan‐Bing Luo, Henry D. Smith II, and Marco Leona. 2018. “A timeline for the introduction of synthetic dye stuffs in Japan during the late Edo and Meiji periods.” Heritage Science 6(22): 1-12.

Hashino, Tomoko. 2007. “The Rise of the Japanese Synthetic Dye Industry During the First World War.” Kobe University Economic Review 53: 35-55.

Mihara, Shigeyoshi. 1943. “Ukiyoe. Some Aspects of Japanese Classical Picture Prints.” Monumenta Nipponica 6(1-2): 245-261.

Whitmore, Paul M., and Glen R. Cass. 1988. “The ozone fading of traditional Japanese colorants.” Studies in Conservation 33(1): 29-40.

Parmal, Pamela A., 2004. “The Impact of Synthetic Dyes on the Luxury Textiles of Meiji Japan.” Textile Society of America Symposium Proceedings. 397-405.

Fujisan no zo

Introduce Mount Fuji

cdm.tokugawa.1-0216508.0000full.jpg

Mount Fuji is also known as Fujiyama, Fuji-YoNama andFujisan. It is a cone shaped volcanic mountain. Its last eruption happened in 1707. Mount Fuji is 12,388 feet and it is the highest mount of Japan. Mount Fuji as tall as the cloud. The top of the Mount is always full of snow. Mount Fuji is the most sacred mountain. Mount Fuji is located on the island of Honshu. (Whalen,2) Mount Fuji is the most famous mountain in Japan. Mount Fuji has added to the World Heritage Site in 2013. Mount Fuji is pilgrim place, and there are many literary works base on Mount Fuji. Therefore Mount Fuji is the representative of Japan, and it is very sacred.

Literary works based on the Mount Fuji

During Japanese era 713, Japanese starts write fudoki (風土記)that report provincial geography, culture, agriculture..Etc. There is one fodoki called “Hitachi no Kuni Fudoki (常陸国風土記) “has records a story about Mount Fuji. There is a deity of heaven travel all around Japan. The deity visits Mount Fuji first. Mount Fuji refuses deity’s request to stay in Mount Fuji over night because Mount Fuji believes that it does not need deity’s blessing. Mount Fuji already has the perfect shape and the great peak. Then, the deity visits the Mount Tsukuba inside the Hitachi province. Mount Tsukuba lets deity stay and offering food humbly. As a result, Mount Fuji always has snow covering the peak, and it is always cold. On the other hand, Mount Tsukuba is very colorful with season changing.
Later, there are many legends about Mount Fuji come out. In the 10th century Japanese fiction prose narrative called “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter(竹取物語)” . The books talks about a bamboo cutter called Taketori no Okina finds a little girl inside the bamboo when he cutting the bamboo. Taketori no Okina brings the little girl home. Taketori no Okina and his wife treat the little girl like their own daughter and name her Kaguya-hime which means “princess of flexible bamboos scattering light”. Three months later, the little girl grows up and the news of her beauty spread. Therefore, many young man come to Taketori no Okina and ask for marry Kaguya-hime. The emperor also become one of the man ask for marry Kaguya- hime. However, Kaguya-hime refuses all of them. Kaguya-hime is the fairy of the moon. And she has to go back to the moon on the august 15th on the third year. Before Kaguya-hime returns to the moon. Kaguya-hime leaves elixir of immortality for her parents. Taketori no Okina is does not live forever without his daughter. Taketori no Okina hands the elixir of immortality to the emperor. The emperor burns the elixir of immortality and the letter on the peak of the highest mountain. Therefore, the word immortality, Fushi不死(never dead) became the name of the mountain – Mount Fuji. Therefore, Japanese solider will have the figure of Mount Fuji on their clothes. Because they believe that Mount Fuji means Fushi.

The religion based on Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji used to be treat as a sacred mountain, because the volcanic eruption. People believe that Mount Fuji has the power of fire and water. (Earhar)
First, Mountain valued more because it is suitable for Buddhism practice. Around six century C.E. Japanese get influence from Chinese religion. During that time, Buddhism is the main religion in China. Taoist notions and Confucian ideas are also popular. Therefore, people believe that the best place for meditation is a flat area deep in the mountains base on the Buddhism sutra.(Earhar). So, mountain has more meaning.
Second, because there are building and rites are located on the mountain peak and mountainside. Therefore, climbing mountain is also a religious practice. For example, the Fuji pilgrimages. (Earhar). Mount. Fuji uses to be a sacred place that people can only look at but not able to climb because of the volcanic eruption. Later, climbing Mount Fuji has become a religious practice. The pilgrimage route to the summit of Mount Fuji had been established on fourteenth century. There are two cultic related to Mount Fuji: fire rituals and climbing the mountain.

453 2.pic.jpg

During Edo period, A group of people whose purpose are climbing the mountain called Fuji-ko (富士講) performs fire ceremonies before people climbing mountain, and burn the mini straw replicas Mount Fuji. (Brockman, 355) Just like the picture below on the left side. During Edo period, some people might live too far away from Mount Fuji. They cannot afford to go to Mount Fuji, and women are not allowed to climb Mount Fuji. Therefore, people contribute a mini Mount Fuji on the direction of Mount Fuji, so they can pray to the mini Mount Fuji. (Brockman,355).
“Pilgrims starts at a shrine at the base of the mountain. Each of the routes has ten rest station…the most popular route has ninety-nine switchbacks.” (Brockman, 355). The six people on the right hand side of the picture are the people who are climbing the mountain.

Third, these later develop to express the mixture of tradition. (Earhar).
The key point of all the legend about Mount Fuji is Asama Shrine (浅間神社).”In Kakugyo’s time, the two chief religious institutions devoted to Mt. Fuji were the Fuji Sengen (or Asama) Shrine 富士浅間神社.”(Tyler,252). Asama Shrine still has 1300 branches nowadays. Therefore Asama shrine still have large influence in Japan as we can see from the number. During Edo period, there are many religions base on Mount Fuji. These religions are the new religions that mix Shintoism and Buddhism. During this period, Assma Shrine also becomes a “bodhisattva” in Assma. Mount Fuji is very important in religions believes at that time. (Earhart)

4535.pic.jpg

“Fuji ascetic Kakugyo 角行 (書行藤佛)(1541- 1646), the founder of the Edo- period (1600-1868) cult of Mt. Fuji.” (Tyler, 252). During fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, society and religion are mix together because the warring state. “ The central message and key leader of Fuji religiosity came not from Murayama and its professional Shugendo priests but from the ranks of the common people – a wandering practitioner named Kakugyo.” (Earhart). Kakugyo Tobustu Ku is the right hand side figure of the two mountain ascetics featured on the map. The name Kakugyo Tobustu Ku is meaningful. Kaku means “square”, Gyo means “practice” , To can be read as “fuji”, Butsu is the name of the Buddham and Ku means honor. Therefore, the name Kakugyo Tobutsu Ku means square, fuji, practice buddham and honor.

Kakugyo Tobustu Ku has two famous disciples. One is Jikigyo Miroku 食行身禄 (1671-1733)and Murakami Kosei 村上光清 (1682-1759. These two people are reat sixth-generation successors that turned the cult in to a mass movement. (Tyler, 253). Jikigyo Miroku is the figure above that on the left side. Miroku means maitreya 弥勒 in Buddhism which is the Buddha who is to come. Jikigyo Miroku get the name Miroku 身禄 from Fuji deity directly (Tyler,261). Jikigyo Miroku’s death launched the Fuji cult as a mass movement. Jikigyo fasted to death on the height of Mt.Fuji. Jikigyo Miroku uses his death to feed the world. (Tyler, 261)

During that time, Japan has many religion bases on the nature worship. The religion base on the nature worship still has influence till now. All these worship and religions is the people want to have some supernatural that can help their life, make their dream come true by using an fantasy way. That is the original Japanese religions. It related to Earhart has mention: “ At Fuji, as is true within all of Japanese religion, power- even destructive force – may be venerated as well as feared, worshipped at the same time as it is pacified. “ (Asasm shirne)

In conclusion, Mount Fuji is the representative of Japan. There are many literary works and legend stories base on Mount Fuji. Later, there are religion base on Mount Fuji that is a mixture of Shintoism, Buddhism, Taoism and some folk belief. All these elements reflect that the relationship between Mount Fuji and Japanese.

Reference:
1.Whalen, Ken. Fuji,Mount. Sage knowledge, 2017,
http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/10.4135/9781412953924.n437. Access Mar 26 2017.
2.Earhart,Byron. Mount Fuji: Icon of Japan. The University of South Carolina Press, 2011.
3.Brockman,Nobert C. Encyclopedia of sacred places. 2011.
4. Tyler Royall, The Book of the Great Practice: The Life of the Mt. Fuji Ascetic Kakugyō Tōbutsu Kū. Nanzan University, 1993.

Fujisan no zu

Introduce Mount Fuji

cdm.tokugawa.1-0216508.0000full.jpg
Mount Fuji is also known as Fujiyama, Fuji-YoNama andFujisan. It is a cone shaped volcanic mountain. Its last eruption happened in 1707. Mount Fuji is 12,388 feet and it is the highest mount of Japan. Mount Fuji as tall as the cloud. The top of the Mount is always full of snow. Mount Fuji is the most sacred mountain. Mount Fuji is located on the island of Honshu. (Whalen,2) Mount Fuji is the most famous mountain in Japan. Mount Fuji has added to the World Heritage Site in 2013. Mount Fuji is pilgrim place, and there are many literary works base on Mount Fuji. Therefore Mount Fuji is the representative of Japan, and it is very sacred.

Literary works based on the Mount Fuji

During Japanese era 713, Japanese starts write fudoki (風土記)that report provincial geography, culture, agriculture..Etc. There is one fodoki called “Hitachi no Kuni Fudoki (常陸国風土記) “has records a story about Mount Fuji. There is a deity of heaven travel all around Japan. The deity visits Mount Fuji first. Mount Fuji refuses deity’s request to stay in Mount Fuji over night because Mount Fuji believes that it does not need deity’s blessing. Mount Fuji already has the perfect shape and the great peak. Then, the deity visits the Mount Tsukuba inside the Hitachi province. Mount Tsukuba lets deity stay and offering food humbly. As a result, Mount Fuji always has snow covering the peak, and it is always cold. On the other hand, Mount Tsukuba is very colorful with season changing.
Later, there are many legends about Mount Fuji come out. In the 10th century Japanese fiction prose narrative called “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter(竹取物語)” . The books talks about a bamboo cutter called Taketori no Okina finds a little girl inside the bamboo when he cutting the bamboo. Taketori no Okina brings the little girl home. Taketori no Okina and his wife treat the little girl like their own daughter and name her Kaguya-hime which means “princess of flexible bamboos scattering light”. Three months later, the little girl grows up and the news of her beauty spread. Therefore, many young man come to Taketori no Okina and ask for marry Kaguya-hime. The emperor also become one of the man ask for marry Kaguya- hime. However, Kaguya-hime refuses all of them. Kaguya-hime is the fairy of the moon. And she has to go back to the moon on the august 15th on the third year. Before Kaguya-hime returns to the moon. Kaguya-hime leaves elixir of immortality for her parents. Taketori no Okina is does not live forever without his daughter. Taketori no Okina hands the elixir of immortality to the emperor. The emperor burns the elixir of immortality and the letter on the peak of the highest mountain. Therefore, the word immortality, Fushi不死(never dead) became the name of the mountain – Mount Fuji. Therefore, Japanese solider will have the figure of Mount Fuji on their clothes. Because they believe that Mount Fuji means Fushi.

The religion based on Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji used to be treat as a sacred mountain, because the volcanic eruption. People believe that Mount Fuji has the power of fire and water. (Earhar)
First, Mountain valued more because it is suitable for Buddhism practice. Around six century C.E. Japanese get influence from Chinese religion. During that time, Buddhism is the main religion in China. Taoist notions and Confucian ideas are also popular. Therefore, people believe that the best place for meditation is a flat area deep in the mountains base on the Buddhism sutra.(Earhar). So, mountain has more meaning.
Second, because there are building and rites are located on the mountain peak and mountainside. Therefore, climbing mountain is also a religious practice. For example, the Fuji pilgrimages. (Earhar). Mount. Fuji uses to be a sacred place that people can only look at but not able to climb because of the volcanic eruption. Later, climbing Mount Fuji has become a religious practice. The pilgrimage route to the summit of Mount Fuji had been established on fourteenth century. There are two cultic related to Mount Fuji: fire rituals and climbing the mountain.
During Edo period, A group of people whose purpose are climbing the mountain called Fuji-ko (富士講) performs fire ceremonies before people climbing mountain, and burn the mini straw replicas Mount Fuji. (Brockman, 355) Just like the picture below on the left side. During Edo period, some people might live too far away from Mount Fuji. They cannot afford to go to Mount Fuji, and women are not allowed to climb Mount Fuji. Therefore, people contribute a mini Mount Fuji on the direction of Mount Fuji, so they can pray to the mini Mount Fuji. (Brockman,355).
“Pilgrims starts at a shrine at the base of the mountain. Each of the routes has ten rest station…the most popular route has ninety-nine switchbacks.” (Brockman, 355). The six people on the right hand side of the picture are the people who are climbing the mountain.

453 2.pic.jpg

Third, these later develop to express the mixture of tradition. (Earhar).
The key point of all the legend about Mount Fuji is Asama Shrine (浅間神社).”In Kakugyo’s time, the two chief religious institutions devoted to Mt. Fuji were the Fuji Sengen (or Asama) Shrine 富士浅間神社.”(Tyler,252). Asama Shrine still has 1300 branches nowadays. Therefore Asama shrine still have large influence in Japan as we can see from the number. During Edo period, there are many religions base on Mount Fuji. These religions are the new religions that mix Shintoism and Buddhism. During this period, Assma Shrine also becomes a “bodhisattva” in Assma. Mount Fuji is very important in religions believes at that time. (Earhart)

4535.pic.jpg

“Fuji ascetic Kakugyo 角行 (書行藤佛)(1541- 1646), the founder of the Edo- period (1600-1868) cult of Mt. Fuji.” (Tyler, 252). During fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, society and religion are mix together because the warring state. “ The central message and key leader of Fuji religiosity came not from Murayama and its professional Shugendo priests but from the ranks of the common people – a wandering practitioner named Kakugyo.” (Earhart). Kakugyo Tobustu Ku is the right hand side figure of the two mountain ascetics featured on the map. The name Kakugyo Tobustu Ku is meaningful. Kaku means “square”, Gyo means “practice” , To can be read as “fuji”, Butsu is the name of the Buddham and Ku means honor. Therefore, the name Kakugyo Tobutsu Ku means square, fuji, practice buddham and honor.

Kakugyo Tobustu Ku has two famous disciples. One is Jikigyo Miroku 食行身禄 (1671-1733)and Murakami Kosei 村上光清 (1682-1759. These two people are reat sixth-generation successors that turned the cult in to a mass movement. (Tyler, 253). Jikigyo Miroku is the figure above that on the left side. Miroku means maitreya 弥勒 in Buddhism which is the Buddha who is to come. Jikigyo Miroku get the name Miroku 身禄 from Fuji deity directly (Tyler,261). Jikigyo Miroku’s death launched the Fuji cult as a mass movement. Jikigyo fasted to death on the height of Mt.Fuji. Jikigyo Miroku uses his death to feed the world. (Tyler, 261)

During that time, Japan has many religion bases on the nature worship. The religion base on the nature worship still has influence till now. All these worship and religions is the people want to have some supernatural that can help their life, make their dream come true by using an fantasy way. That is the original Japanese religions. It related to Earhart has mention: “ At Fuji, as is true within all of Japanese religion, power- even destructive force – may be venerated as well as feared, worshipped at the same time as it is pacified. “ (Asasm shirne)

In conclusion, the religion base on Mount Fuji is a mixture of Shintoism, Buddhism, Taoism and some folk belief. All these elements reflect that the relationship between Mount Fuji and Japanese.

Reference:
1.Whalen, Ken. Fuji,Mount. Sage knowledge, 2017,
http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/10.4135/9781412953924.n437. Access Mar 26 2017.
2.Earhart,Byron. Mount Fuji: Icon of Japan. The University of South Carolina Press, 2011.
3.Brockman,Nobert C. Encyclopedia of sacred places. 2011.
4. Tyler Royall, The Book of the Great Practice: The Life of the Mt. Fuji Ascetic Kakugyō Tōbutsu Kū. Nanzan University, 1993.

The Bifurcation of Two Countries’ fates ——A Map in Isolation Era of Japan & China

 

Introduction

Both of Japan and China had national isolations,and westernization reformations during 19th century. Although both of them were forced to open their gates and sign numerous unjust treaties by western countries, only Japan turned to a powerful country through their reformation after, and China was nibbled by great powers. At pre-modern era, the two countries had totally different altitudes toward western civilization, which lead to their different national fates.

The map that I picked is just a witness of such an ironical time about East Asia. Times have passed and circumstances have changed, but the map is still lying on museum’s display table and telling us this history silently. Through my research, I want to explore how Japan and China’s altitudes toward pre-modern western civilization’s impact effected the two countries’ modernizations, and why only Japan succeed.

 

The Map’s History

This is the map I picked in UBC’s museum called地球萬國山海輿地全圖説(Chikyū bankoku sankai yochi zenzusets).

图片 1

Chikyū bankoku sankai yochi zenzusetsu (1790), the map copy of坤輿万国全図

 

It was created by Nagakubo, Sekisui (1717-1801) in 1790 (UBC, 2015). It was based on Ricci, Matteo (1552-1610)’s 坤輿万国全図, the main character of this paper.

坤輿万国全図 was the most advanced world map in 17th century. It was imported to Japan from China in early isolation era, colored and marked by some katakana annotations.

1200px-Kunyu_Wanguo_Quantu_(坤輿萬國全圖)Unattributed (1604?), two page colored Japanese copy of the 1602 map

 

The original Chinese version was created by the Christian missionary, Matteo Ricci, in 1602 with the assistance from 李之藻 (1565-1630), the minister and scientist in the Ministry of Works in feudal China (Ming Dynasty) (日本の世界地図(1)発見の時代~坤輿万国全図 写図, 2011). It was a very large map with the size of 1.8x4M, and carved on six large blocks of wood.

Kunyu Wanguo Quantu, printed by Matteo Ricci, Zhong Wentao and Li Zhizao, upon request of Wanli Emperor in Beijing, 1602

 

This map was surprisingly accurate, and detailed, so that some people even doublet its facticity (锐尺, 2014). This is understandable if we consider the measuring/mapping technique in early 17th century. At that time, Australia and Antarctica were still not found yet, and Magellan’s trip around the world just passed 80 years. As a matter of course, people will be surprised that a missionary could utilize old time’s mapping technique to create such a modern-like map which we made by using satellites. Not only about continents and 2 polar, it explains the cause of eclipses and the rotating system of earth and moon as well.

 

Matteo Ricci was one of the pioneers of Catholic missionary in China and the first Western scholar who read Chinese literature and studied Chinese ancient books. Except doing missionary works, he also tried to keep in touch with officers and society people, and spread the Western astronomy, mathematics, geography and other scientific knowledge (锐尺, 2014). His writings not only made important contributions to the exchanges between China and the West, but also had a significant impact on the understanding of Western civilization on the Japanese and Korean, such as this geographical map. He combined Chinese and western measuring and marine technology to contribute this most advanced world map based on former maps.

 

Different Encounter in China And Japan

Unfortunately,Chinese rulers didn’t take this significant map seriously. This map was published in late Ming dynasty. But Ming was replaced by Qing in 1636. In Qing dynasty, emperor and government ministers lost their passion on western culture and modern technologies. They couldn’t distinguish Spain and Portugal, and even made mistake to recognize France. But those were ready-made knowledge on this map, from former dynasty. In Qing Dynasty, people’s deficit about nature science completely unmasked in many ways.

In Kangxi period, the minister Guangxian Yang, criticized ‘Round earth theory’ that: “有识者以理推之,不觉喷饭满案矣。夫人顶天立地,未闻有横立倒立之人也。……此可见大地之非圆也” (锐尺, 2014). It means that if earth is a round, then the person stands above the round and anther person stands below the round will be standing opposite, so one of them must be hanging upside down, which is impossible. It can be seen that Chinese people were not able to understand gravity, no speaking of solar system which denied Chinese believe: our world is the central of the universe. Thus, this map was a treason for Qing government. 地球, the most common Chinese character in todays’ world were definitely a traitorous word in 17th century’s China. The word, 地球 was firstly introduced by Ricci on this map in history (锐尺, 2014). It overturned Chinese people’s traditional concept of the world: round universe and square earth.

It was also a bad word for Qing’s empire. For example, Asia was marked as 亚细亚. In Qing’s famous scholar Pingbu Qing’s book,he interpreted it as an insult. Because the word, 亚 in Chinese means secondary, lowliness, and loser. In former dynasty, Ming, the government minister Guangqi Xu cooperated with Matteo Ricci to translate one of the modern science’s footstones: ‘Elements of Geometry’ (98绿茶, 2008). But in Qing dynasty, what Ricci’s works got, were only ignorance and ridicule. The sorry decline of Chinese people’s scientific spirt made their country far behind the world later, and their governing class had inevitable responsibility.

In contrast, this map was a reference of geographic knowledge in Japan. It became the most important template of map creation. Just after one year of map坤輿万国全図’s first publish, it was imported to Japan in 1603~1606. This map with Chinese characters was much more popular than other EU-made maps in Japan, and it was considered as the only reliable world map, and became the most important information source for later works, especially during close country period (坤輿万国全図).

 

The Difference of China and Japan’s Revolution

China is the Heaven country, which has vast territory and abundant resources, such a though rooted in Qing rulers’ heads. They didn’t care westerners came to China for culture exchange or business or what. Pre-modern western civilization couldn’t catch Qing emperors’ eyes, except weapon  s. In late Qing dynasty, similar to Japan, China was facing inside national conflicts and the threat of outside colonialism, in order to maintain the Qing’s dominant position, some ministers lead China’s modernization movement as well.  But the difference was, Japan’s Meji restoration was started from lower worriers. The unfair promotion system, the busted economy, and countless never-seen western technology made them have no choice to down the Bakufu. What they need is a powerful modern country, a new world, but not a decayed old government.

During isolation period, Tokugawa government opened Nagasaki bay, allowed Dutch and Chinese had trades there. The government ordered coming businessmen need to write reports about overseas’ information. Such as風説書 fusetsugaki  (于忠元, 2013) . During 1840-1844 the風説書 about China even reached 19 books, through those reports Japanese governing class realized the unprecedentedly national crisis that eastern people were facing (于忠元, 2013).  Edo people were curious about how world was changing. But Qing government thought China was still the strongest, most advanced country in the world.

In the aspect of psychology, Chinese and Japanese were different as well. For a long term, China was the absolute leader in Asia as a culture exporter. Chinese emperors called surrendering countries as the lands of the barbarians. During the 30 years of Chinese westernization, Chinese publisher’s books about western learning only were sold about 13000 books. But in Japan, only books about western learning which written by Fukuzawa Yukichi were sold over 250,000 books (黎询洲, 2013). Just because Japan did not have the superiority complex towards foreign countries, so Japanese people could accept western learnings without hesitation.

 

Conclusion

In Matteo Ricci’s notes, he commented that arrogance and being conservative brought China unfortunate fate; based on the greatness, political institution, and the fame of scholarism, they regarded other nations as savages, but such an innocence would make them arrogant. Obviously, only looking far ahead and following the trend of times could make a country progress. That is so called Chinese traditional virtue: modesty. As a powerhouse, he must keep awake from his power; once he lost in it, the day of his death is not far. If we enlarge the scale of time, there is no permanent advanced countries, but only permanent developing countries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

 

98绿茶. (2008/7). 《坤舆万国全图》见证了清朝时期可悲的倒退. Access time: 2017/4/1,铁血网: http://bbs.tiexue.net/post2_2946086_1.html
UBC. (2015). Chikyū bankoku sankai yochi zenzusetsu. Access time: 2017/4/5, Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era: https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/tokugawa/items/1.0213204#p0z-5r0f:%E4%B8%87%E5%9B%BD
坤輿万国全図. Access time: 2017/4/4, 世界史の窓: http://www.y-history.net/appendix/wh0801-103.html
黎询洲. (2013). 中日“闭关锁国”时期的文化心理之比较. Theoretic Observation (79), Page 40.
日本の世界地図(1)発見の時代~坤輿万国全図 写図. (2011年9月27日). Access time: 2017/4/2, 泰西古典絵画紀行:
http://blog.goo.ne.jp/dbaroque/e/2aac5de801e476215d496d83e3909433
锐尺. (2014/10). 《坤舆万国全图》:一张明代的世界地图. Access time: 2017年4月6日,National Geographic: http://www.nationalgeographic.com.cn/news/2190.html
于忠元. (2013). 中日“闭关锁国”时代对西方态度之比较. Forward Position (328), Page 150.

 

 

Yokohama: The City of Foreign Trade

Yokohama (横浜市 Yokohama-shi), the capital of Kanagawa prefecture, Japan is the country’s second largest city and running one of its leading seaports. Yokohama is a major commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo Area, and is one of the major international trading ports of Japan today.

 Yokohama: A Small Fishing Village

cdm.tokugawa.1-0216610.0000full

In the late Edo period, Yokohama played a major role in Japan’s foreign trade, but before becoming a leading port, Yokohama was once a small fishing village. Until Commodore Matthew C. Perry and his fleet of U.S. naval warships visited Yokohama near the end of the Edo period in 1854, in which, quickly turned the city into the base for foreign trade in Japan. In 1859, Yokohama became a port for foreign trade and settlement that enjoyed extraterritorial and powerful rights. Known especially for its exports of raw silk and tea, Yokohama also handled canned fish and other local products since this city now was once a fishing village.1 “Foreign trade led to the rapid growth of Yokohama, which served during the last half of the 19th century as Tokyo’s outer port.”2

The Arrival of Foreigners

Almost 160 years ago the Edo government decided to open more of Japan to Westerners such as The United States, UK, Russia, Netherlands and France. Until then Japan has been isolated since they only allowed certain type of people to trade in Nagasaki such as the Dutch and Chinese. Yokohama was a small fishing village, and the history of Yokohama as a metropolis began with the opening of the port in 1859. The seaport was the result of a treaty between Japan and the United States, together with a number of other European countries.3 There was a need for a new port, but between Japan and the US, it was almost impossible to reach agreement as to where it was to be located.4 The USA and other allies wanted to settle in Kanagawa (an area directly south of Edo), but the Shogunate (also known as the office of chief military commanders) decided otherwise. Therefore, they chose Yokohama to become the new port. However the real motive behind this decision was the Shogunate’s fear of how the foreigners’ disruption might arise in Japan, since there were foreigners already living in the Kanagawa’s area.5 “Another reason for opening the port in Yokohama was its topography, which has consisted of hills and the bay of Tokyo. This topography had the same advantages in isolating the foreign community as that of Nagasaki.”6 The new port was constructed at a steady pace, and as the villagers of Yokohama were moved to another area, foreign “custom houses, two harbours, and a checkpoint for trading goods were constructed.”7

cdm.tokugawa.1-0227942.0000full

So the big question here is why did Commodore Matthew C. Perry, or to be more broad; Europeans, go to Yokohama and turned the city into a trade harbor? One of the most common reasons was to bring back items, which worth a lot in the Western countries which meant money and wealth. Asia was still a newly market country that could bring wealth to the Western countries, and in the Edo period, Edo (currently known as Tokyo) was the biggest city in the world, and in order to reach and trade with Edo, Yokohama was the place to do that since the city had the biggest port, closest to Edo. Additionally, the availability to trade with Yokohama carried a great amount of Southeastern products. For Japanese, traveling to the Southeastern part of Asia was not difficult, but for the Europeans, such as the Dutch had a difficult time since the direction to go to Southeast Asia was difficult for them, the easiest way to trade for Southeastern products was through, Japan.8

When Commodore Matthew C. Perry arrived to Yokohama, supposedly the message he brought to Japan’s leaders also looked forward for a mutually beneficial trade relations. Commodore_Matthew_Calbraith_PerryOn the surface, Perry’s demands seemed relatively modest,9 but truthfully, the trade treaty was unfair and made the European unwelcome for this business. However, since the government of Japan was frightened by the power of the US military, hence the Japanese government gave in to almost all of Perry’s demands to this negotiating treaty. Even though the Japanese government grant these foreigners to settle in and allowed their trading businesses, the Japanese government still had a bit of control of this port because “first, the treaty was a negotiated, not a treaty of defeat, and thus had no coercive elements; second, the shogunate had planned the construction of the foreign settlement and thus had a strong say in its running; third, the shogunate even in the later negotiations never relented about Yokohama; and fourth, the foreigners did not have the monetary recourses to construct a settlement by themselves.”10 Therefore, the Japanese still had power to this port.

“For Americans, Perry’s expedition to Japan was but one momentous step in a seemingly inexorable westward expansion that ultimately spilled across the Pacific to embrace the exotic East. But for the Japanese, on the other hand, the intrusion of Perry’s warships was traumatic, confounding, fascinating, and ultimately devastating.11
As the foreign settlement and trade began in Yokohama, the Americans enter into the Japanese trading industry and other foreigners quickly followed after. Due to the rush of foreigners, foreign influences and experiences flooded Japan heavily mixing the Japanese and Western culture.12 One example that the Europeans brought over on their 06_030a_Dejimatrading ships would be Christian missionaries. Widely known to the Japanese as the “southern barbarians” since they arrived from the south and welcomed themselves to a place that a religion has already been established a long time ago, these foreigners intruding into Japan established a particularly strong presence in and around port cities, thus the unwelcome mix of foreign influences.13

The Trading Ports: Yokohama vs. Nagazaki

Compared to other lesser well known Japanese ports, foreign merchants preferred Yokohama because the city had excellent deep water ports, therefore making the city the largest trading port in Japan because it was close to the capital, Edo, and because it was blessed with warm and clement weather.

“Since the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Tokugawa shogunate pursued a policy of isolating the country from outside influences. Foreign trade was maintained only with the Dutch and the Chinese and was conducted exclusively at Nagasaki under a strict government monopoly.”14 But since the arrival of Commodore Matthew C. Perry made the opening of Yokohama port easier for Westerns trade closer to Edo. Nagasaki contrary was at the very end of Japan, which made it difficult to communicate with the shogunate in Edo.

Past vs. Present

As the number of Western foreign ships docking at The Yokohama port, Britain ships carried more than 50 percent of the trade, although in terms of value, the Japanese export trade exceeded the import trade. The main Japanese export item was silk, and the second item was tea. Silk and tea combined comprised 90 per cent of the export trade.15

NauticalChart_Yokohama_1874

(Port of Yokohama in the Past)

yokohama-bay-areamain

(Present day Port of Yokohama)

Presently, Yokohama Port no longer exports only silk and tea, but is composed of ten major piers. Some of the piers such as the Honmoku Pier, is the port’s core facility, Osanbashi Pier handles passenger traffic, such as cruises, and has customs, immigration and quarantine facilities for international travel, Detamachi Pier receives fresh fruits and vegetables, and seven berths of Mizuho Pier are used by the United States Forces Japan, and additional piers handle timber and serve other functions.16 Over the evolving years of the Yokohama port, the port has expanded worldwide trading from importing and exporting.

 

Work Cited

[1] “Yokohama,” The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed., last modified March 26, 2017, accessed March 22, 2017, http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/yokohama.

[2] “Yokohama,” The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed., last modified March 26, 2017, accessed March 22, 2017, http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/yokohama.

[3] Arie Graafland, The Socius of Architecture: Amsterdam, Tokyo, New York (Netherlands: Rotterdam, 2000), 163.

[4] Arie Graafland, The Socius of Architecture: Amsterdam, Tokyo, New York (Netherlands: Rotterdam, 2000), 163.

[5] Arie Graafland, The Socius of Architecture: Amsterdam, Tokyo, New York (Netherlands: Rotterdam, 2000), 163.

[6] Arie Graafland, The Socius of Architecture: Amsterdam, Tokyo, New York (Netherlands: Rotterdam, 2000), 163.

[7] Arie Graafland, The Socius of Architecture: Amsterdam, Tokyo, New York (Netherlands: Rotterdam, 2000), 163.

[8] “100 Year Japan – The Netherlands,” Paulus Swaen, last modified June 14, 2010, accessed March 22, 2017, http://www.swaen.com/japanNED.php

[9] “Matthew C. Perry.” Wikipedia. Last modified March 21, 2017. Accessed March 22, 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_C._Perry.

[10] Ian Nish and Yoichi Kibata, The History of Anglo-Japanese Relations, 1600-2000: Volume I: The Political-Diplomatic Dimension, 1600-1930. (New York: Springer, 2000), 45

[11] “Black Ships & Samurai: Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan (1853-1854).” Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Last modified July 2003. Accessed Match 22, 2017. https://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/21f/21f.027/black_ships_and_samurai/bss_essay01. html.

[12] “Black Ships & Samurai: Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan (1853-1854).” Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Last modified July 2003. Accessed Match 22, 2017. https://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/21f/21f.027/black_ships_and_samurai/bss_essay01. html.

[13] “Black Ships & Samurai: Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan (1853-1854).” Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Last modified July 2003. Accessed Match 22, 2017. https://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/21f/21f.027/black_ships_and_samurai/bss_essay01. html.

[14] “Convention of Kanagawa.” Wikipedia. Last modified February 08, 2017. Accessed March 22, 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_of_Kanagawa.

[15] Ian Nish and Yoichi Kibata, The History of Anglo-Japanese Relations, 1600-2000: Volume I: The Political-Diplomatic Dimension, 1600-1930. (New York: Springer, 2000), 45

[16] “Port of Yokohama,” Wikipedia, last modified November 15, 2016, accessed March 22, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_of_Yokohama.

 

Maps of Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan. It is an active volcano and its height is an altitude of 3,776 meters. In June of 2013, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage property, under the name of ‘sacred place and source of artistic inspiration.’ As ‘the great object of universal devotion’ and ‘a source of artistic inspiration,’ Mount Fuji has been effecting to Japanese people’s lives, and their nature and culture. Therefore, it is drawn and created to maps by people. Fujisan no zu (富士山之圖) and Dai Nihon Fujisan Zetcho no zu (大日本富士山絶頂之圖) are the example of them.

fujisan no zu.jpg

Fujisan no zu (富士山之圖) – It means a ‘Map of Mount Fuji.’ This map was created by Sawaguchi Seio in 1848, which was Edo (or Tokugawa) period. It is a flat map and its dimensions are 91.4X96.5cm. However, it is a three-dimensional map at the same time, because the middle part of the map could be folded like a cone shape. It looks like real Mount Fuji when it is folded. Moreover, middle part of the left side of the map could be flipped. When it is flipped, there is another monochrome image. Overall, the map is showing an aerial view of Mount Fuji, and many religious features, such as pilgrims, figures of Buddha and monks, are indicated on the map.

Dainihon Fujisan zetchô no zu .jpg

Dai Nihon Fujisan Zetcho no zu (大日本富士山絶頂之圖) – It means a ‘Map of the summit of Mount Fuji.’ This map was created by Utagawa Sadahide in 1857, which was also Edo (or Tokugawa) period. It is a flat map and its dimensions are 36.0X76.0cm. It becomes a piece of completed map when three different parts are connected. Overall, the map is showing a panoramic view of crater of Mount Fuji. There are many religious features as well, such as torii (とりい), pilgrims and fortress with figures of Buddha.

As it could be seen above, there are many similarities between the two maps. In this writing, religious background of Mount Fuji would be discussed. At the same time, similarities of the two maps, such as spot signals (paths to the summit), pilgrims and no appearance of woman, would be analyzed based on the religious background.

Religious background

Mount Fuji has been considered as a sacred presence to Japanese. As the great object of universal devotion, it influenced Japanese’s outlook on nature. Japanese looked up the mountain and worshiped when it had volcanic activity. When the activity finished, the faith toward mountain and imported foreign Buddhism were combined, and the mountain became a place of asceticism. Especially people aimed to go up to the top and walk through the path with worshipping their gods. After few years, normal people who were called as believers climbed the mountain to follow the ascetics. In the middle of Edo period, after 17th century, Fujiko was appeared and spread. Fujiko was kind a lesson that taught a doctrine of Fuji religion. Many of Fujiko believers worshipped with walking the foot of the mountain and Oshi houses were reorganized to support believers who climbed the mountain. Oshi houses offered a place to sleep and some foods.

A start of Mount Fuji religion – A long time ago, people formed a community or performed religious ceremony at the foot of the mountain. Around 8-9th century, people thought the repeating volcanic activities were anger of a god of fire ‘Asamano Okami(浅間大神).’ To clam her down, people started to worship her from a distance. They looked top of the mountain and prayed, and it became a custom. Because of the custom, a place was created in order to worship from afar, like Yamamiya sengen shrine. After 800 years, Mount Fuji kept repeating great volcanic activities. To calm it down, some shrines were built again to pay people’s respects to the souls of Asamano Okami.

Fuji religion became popular – Around 12th century, Mount Fuji’s volcanic activities were calm down. Men of religion who were called as ascetics climbed the mountain to get some power from gods because they believed Mount Fuji was a land of asceticism. On the top of the mountain, a base of religion was built along the wall of craters. Around the craters, there were eight peaks and people thought they were eight floral leaves of lotus. People went on a pilgrimage to the eight peaks and it was called ‘Ohachimeguri.’ Matsudai Shonin, who was famous for climbing the mountain the most, built a temple, which was named ‘Dainichiji,’ on the top of the mountain. Moreover, he built ‘Murayama sengen’ shrine and it was a base for practice asceticism among men of religion. After 14th century, normal people could be pilgrims and climbed the mountain to follow the ascetics. From the entrance of the mountain, trails were reorganized and communities were formed for the climbers.

Prosperity of Fuji religion – In 17th century, Fujiko was created that came from ‘Hasegawa Gaku’ religion. Fujiko was a group of people who were full with faiths. They worshipped Mount Fuji as making a pilgrimage to scared places in a foot of the mountain such as Saiko, Shojiko and Oshino Hatkai. There were known as Gaku religion’s asceticism places. In 18th century, Fujiko gained explosive popularity among normal people. Therefore, the number of climbers increased and Oshi houses were developed. As living at the Oshi houses, monks led and took care the believers. In the middle of 19th century, path of pilgrimage in Mount Fuji was not the only one. It should not have to walk through by turns. It was made with many routes, which could be walk with various purposes of pilgrimage.

Similarities between the two maps

There are many religious features on the two maps. For example, on Fujisan no zu, there are many pilgrims, two monks and figures of Buddha. There are rooms and features of Buddha are located in the rooms. People go into the room and pray. Also, there are many writings on the map and one of them, the Waka poem that is in the middle of the map includes religious meaning. It says, “If you climb Mount Fuji, there is a scared meaning.” In addition, on Dai Nihon Fujisan Zetcho no zu, there are pilgrims who make a pilgrimage around the crater. Moreover,similar to Fujisan no zu, there are rooms and features of Buddha. People are praying to features of Buddha in fortresses. Furthermore, there are many toriis which look like a gate. They are usually located in front of shrine as a symbol of fortune. People believe that abusive things are changed to sacred through out the gate. They could be located in front of nature, then it means they worship the nature itself.

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Spot signals on Dai Nihon Fujisan Zetcho no zu
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Spot signals on Fujisan no zu

Spot signals (paths to the summit) – On the both maps, there are yellow or red spot signals and path to the summit. The spot signals indicate spots’ name or sacred places. Moreover, there are many paths to the summit at Mount Fuji, however, there are only important or popular paths are indicated on the maps.

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Konohana no Sakuya Hime

Konohana no Sakuya hime and No admittance to woman – Mountain Fuji’s also had a mountain spirit and it was a woman. Her name was ‘Konohana no Sakuya hime (コノハナノサクヤビメ)’ and she was a god of blooming flowers. As a god of mountain Fuji, she was enshrined at Shingen shrine. However, one ironic thing is, women could not climb the mountain and they were banned even though the mountain spirit was woman. On the two maps, woman could not be found and all people on the maps are men.

 

Works cited

Hashimoto, Sadahide, 1807-1873, and Seiō Sawaguchi. Fujisan no Zu, Vancouver (B.C.) : University of British Columbia. Library, 1848.

Utagawa, Sadahide, 1807-1873. Dai Nihon Fujisan Zetchō no Zu, Vancouver (B.C.) : University of British Columbia. Library, 1857.

Bernstein, Andrew. “Whose Fuji? Religion, Region, and State in the Fight for a National Symbol.” Monumenta Nipponica, vol. 63, no. 1, 2008, pp. 51-99.

Irons, Edward A. “Fuji, Mt. (Fuji san).” Encyclopedia of Buddhism, edited by J. Gordon Melton, Facts on File, 2008, pp. 208-209. Facts on File Library of Religion and Mythology: Encyclopedia of World Religions. Gale Virtual Reference Library, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=GVRL&sw=w&u=ubcolumbia&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CCX4057500252&it=r&asid=4a4f3ebd714ee64b2600f5a915434628. Accessed 9 Apr. 2017.

Mountain Fuji and its Climbing Culture

As the most representative image of Japan, Mountain Fuji refers to “symbol of the Japanese soul” As the highest mountain in Japan with its elegant conical form, has become famous throughout the world and is considered the sacred symbol of Japan. Originally, the mountain’s name is uncertain and it first appears as Fuji no Yama in Hitachi no kunifudoki. According to record, the image of Fuji Mountain has been reproduced countless time in Japanese art, the painting, calligraphy or decorative visual arts produced in Japan over the centuries. Mountain Fuji played significant roles in the development of Japan through presenting national culture and religion. Every summer, there are thousands of Japanese climb to the shrine on its peak since they regard “climbing Fuji as a religious practice”(p.53.)

 

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大日本富士山絶頂之図 Tokukawa period 1857

“Dai Nihon Fujisan zetchō no zu” was published in 1857 (Tokukawa period). This was the full version of the Fuji Mountain view and in the middle area is the crater of the Mountain Fuji, on the side of the mountain there are many climbing paths were distributed, the climbing path of the mountain was constructed in order to help climber to walk easier. Every mountain hill has its own name which was labeled through the red color. There are also torii gates located on the top of the mountain, which is for people to do worship. Thus, the trend of climbing Fuji Mountain are more popularize in the commoner group in Edo period, since before that time, only nobility were permitted to visit the peak of Mountain and to celebrate ritual ceremony. In the middle of Edo period, the majority of farmers and businessmen would dedicate themselves to religious activities in order to achieve their dreams. They usually dress up with all white shirts, wear a bamboo hat and shaking bells with their hands and they also need to perform songs or scriptures while they are climbing up the mountain. The purpose of performing songs or scriptures is due to pray for supplication. One interesting thing is before people to climb up the mountain, they need to shower for a week in order to maintain their body and spirit in a pure mood. People were required to obtain a devout heart so that they could overcome all difficulties on the way they apparently can climb up the mountain.

 

Two significant factors about the development of the Fuji Mountain are; the reverence feeling of the Fuji Mountain, the reverence feeling of the natural landscape. Fuji Mountain had been always played significant roles over the decades of Japanese history. Based on the records of Shoku Nihonggi『続日本記』which is an imperially commissioned Japanese history text that has mentioned that “駿河国言、富士山下雨灰、灰之所及、木彫萎” by translation it is saying that as long as rain dust drops from the Fuji Mountain, all the plants would perish because of the rain dust from the Fuji Mountain. Wherever the dust drop on and it would destroy the greenery. Based on the map of Fuji Mountain, there are many rest stations distributed on the map. For example, almost every stage has a rest station which not only for people to take a break but it also implies them to walk slowly and think about their life carefully. There are many food vendors are located on the mountain as well in order to provide food and energy backup for all the climbers. The routes of the Fuji Mountain were divided into different stages and label them by numbers such as “the fist stage”. Meanwhile, the reinforce concrete wall is on the side of the mountain which is to prevent the landslide.

 

edo period

『富士山諸人参詣之図』二代・歌川国輝 画(1865年)

Reasons that why people in Edo Period are in possession of climbing Fuji Mountain is due to Asama Shrine, which is a shrine of faith mainly to Mountain Fuji. The purpose is to praise the God of the Asama Shrine. In the early time of Japan, Buddhism was drawn into the Japanese history, though some Chinese sources place the first spreading of the religion earlier during the Confucian period and Buddhism has played a significance role influence on the development of Japanese society and maintains its influential culture until today. However, Japanese still maintain their identity beliefs such as Shintoism. People who live nearby the mountain used to always worry about the volcanic eruption and they cannot live a peaceful life. So that they begin to stage some ritual activities in order to pray for protection from the god. One of the most important factors for the faith of the Mountain Fuji was due to people always obtained a great reverence for the natural world.

 

圣德太子。。

聖徳太子絵伝 延久本 平安時代 1069

There are also some artworks that involved Mountain Fuji such as Pictorial Biography of Prince Shōtoku. The Prince Shōtoku who was the first person compose Japan’s first constitution and obtain high reputation and admiration in the historical of Japan. In the Pre-Edo Period, there is a tale about Prince Shōtoku jumping up to the Fuji Mountain by riding a mythical horse, and this biographical picture reveals partially deed that Prince Shōtoku’s contribution during his entire life, the biography was mainly recorded all his contribution. Also, this picture is the first picture in the historical point of view to mention about Mountain Fuji.Based on the Pre-Edo period works, as we can see the culture phenomenon of Fuji Mountain has not been formed yet, at that time Mountain Fuji is just for people to worship and praise. We can find a lot of artworks about Fuji Mountain.

 

Climbing_on_Mt._Fuji

『富嶽三十六景』 葛飾北斎 1830

For example, Group of Mountain Climbers; the first fujizuka was established by members of a group known as a Fuji kō, which is an association dedicated to the ascent of Mount Fuji as the religious practice. Each Fuji kō raise funds to donation annual pilgrimages in which one-fifth to one-third of the members would participate, thus by the end of three to five years all of the members would have completed the climb at least once. Since these short trips were religious in nature, members would first visit Sengen Shrine at the foot of the mountain and perform ablutions. Then they climb the mountain in the white clothes of religious ascetics and pay respect at the shrine at the top of the mountain. After that, the group would descend along a different route to one of the towns at the foot of the mountain, where they would enjoy food, drink, and entertainment. With a group of 20 or 30 pilgrims, a professional guide, and a set itinerary that included lodgings, these trips might be regarded as the Edo-period equivalent of today’s package tours.

In conclusion, Mountain Fuji played a significant role in the history of Japan since it has always been dedicating into the artworks and literature filed. As one of the most representative landscapes of Japan, Mount Fuji also obtains higher reputation around the world. Not only because it has splendid view of the landscape but it also becomes to cultural heritage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

 

Bernstein, Andrew. 2008. Whose fuji? religion, region, and state in the fight for a national symbol. Monumenta Nipponica 63 (1): 51-99.

 

第三版日本大百科全書(ニッポニカ)世界大百科事典内言及, %. %. (n.d.). 富士講(ふじこう)とは. Retrieved April 10, 2017, from https://kotobank.jp/word/%E5%AF%8C%E5%A3%AB%E8%AC%9B-124413

 

富士山の歴史と文化. Retrieved April 10, 2017, from     http://3776.jp/rekishi/index.html

 

富士山噴火史. (n.d.). Retrieved April 10, 2017, from http://www.fujigoko.tv/mtfuji/vol1/

 

Takashina Shūji (2012, Jan. 2 ) Mount Fuji in Edo Arts and Minds. Retrieved April 10, 2017, from http://www.nippon.com/en/currents/d00021/