Fuji ryōdō ichiran no zu

The title of the map, Fuji ryōdō ichiran no zu 富士両道一覧之図, literally means “the illustration of the two paths of Mount Fuji”. The height of Mount Fuji is 3776 meters which equals to approximately 12,389 ft. It is the highest mountain in Japan. The location of Mount Fuji is in between Shizuoka Prefecture and Yamanashi…

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Tokaidō bunken ezu

Tokaidō bunken ezu is a volume of scaled (1 to 12,000) maps which shows the Tokaido in its entirety. (Click here to view the map in the UBC collection.) The Tokaido was a long road connecting Edo (present day Tokyo) to the capital (present day Kyoto), and the most important route among the Five Routes of the…

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Shinsen zōho kyō ōezu: A Cultural Capital since Tokugawa Japan

Kyoto: The Cultural Capital  The imperial capital has held prominence beginning from the medieval period when the imperial line reigned. Kyoto’s legacy as a prominent capital continued even after the transition of power from the Yamamoto emperors to the shogunate, and the migration of court to bakufu, and the capital from Kyoto to Edo. After the…

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Edo jō

The Edojō map was produced in 1854. The creator of the map is unknown. During this time period, Emperor Kōmei was the ruler. This is also the same year Commodore Matthew Perry signs the Treaty of Kanagawa with the Japanese government, opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade which thus permitted the…

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Edo ezu

The Edo ezu, also known as the Map of Edo, was created by Kōzaburō Kikuya in 1864 (Kikuya, 1864). In this map, features such as roads, castles, palaces, shrines, temples, and bodies of water were indicated. Edo had a long history and played an important historical role in Japan. In 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu, a chief…

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Tōkaidō gojūsantsugi ichiran: Panorama of the Fifty-Three Stages of the Tōkaidō

Attributed to the renowned ukiyo-e (lit. “pictures of the floating world”) and landscape artist, Andō Hiroshige (1797 – 1858), this beautiful ten-panel woodblock print displays the breadth of the Tōkaidō from Edo in the east to Kyoto in the west. Along the way, it marks the fifty-three stations of the famous road (in red), as…

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Nihon sankai zudō taizen

The Nihon sankai zudō taizen (lit. The Complete Map of the Mountain and Seas of Japan) was published in 1697 in the Tokugawa period. It was produced by famous Japanese cartographer, Ishikawa Ryūsen, and co-produced by Sagamiya Tahē. This revision was re-reprinted based on one of his most famous works Nihon sankai chōri ku zu,…

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Fujisan no zu

UBC’s Rare Books and Special Collection hosts a variety of Japanese Tokugawa Era maps; among this collection is one very unique map named Fujisan no zu (Map of Mt. Fuji), created by Sawaguchi Seiō in 1848.  It was created using the woodcut technique and its dimensions are 91.4 x 96.5 cm.  What is extra special…

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Bankoku sōzu

The main map to be analyzed here is the Bankoku sōzu 萬國総圖 (1600) from the Tokugawa Maps collection of the UBC Rare Books and Special Collections. About the Bankoku sōzu The Bankoku sōzu held at UBC is made up of a pair of screens which seem to be hand painted on manuscript-like paper. Also, these items,…

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Bankoku sōzu

    Click here to view these images in the UBC maps collection.   This double-sided Japanese woodcut displays a world map on the front and illustrated examples of the peoples of the world on the verso. It exemplifies the Bankoku-sōzu (“complete maps of the peoples of the world”) style of cartography influenced by European techniques…

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Utagawa Sadahide’s Woodcut Map of Mount Fuji: Fuji ryōdō ichiran no zu

For centuries, Mount Fuji has held a special place in the imagination of the Japanese people, inspiring numerous poems and other works of art. However, as renowned scholar Shuji Takashina explains, for many years, it was largely known by reputation alone because very few people ever actually had the opportunity to travel to the remote…

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Edo zukan kōmoku kon

The Edo zukan kōmoku kon 江戸圖鑑綱目坤 was created in 1689 by Ishikawa Ryūsen under the patent of the Tokugawa bakufu and based off an earlier official map known as the Kanbun go-mai zu (Yonemoto, 2003, p.18). It is considered to be one of the earliest yet most detailed maps of Edo; commonly accompanied by the Edo zukan kōmoku ken, a…

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Bankoku sōkaizu

Bankoku sōkaizu The Bankoku sōkaizu (lit. Map of All Countries of the World) is an early Japanese world map created by Ishikawa Ryusen in 1708 (Worldcat, n.d.). It was originally crafted from a woodblock print (Covers to Bankoku sōkaizu, 1708), which has been visibly repaired in places after heavy use. This map is actually a…

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Tōkaidō ichiranzu

Tōkaidō ichiranzu was printed by Shōtei Kinsui in 1830 with the help of Ichigorō Sanoya. This map illustrates one of the famous Five Routes, which connected Edo (modern day Tokyo) with Kyoto. In this map, we can see that there are a lot of major components that occupy the entire space such as mountains, station names,…

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