Manuscript on paper, a hand-drawn scroll (268 x 2720 mm.), depicting the coast of Chiba in the first half of the 19th century, annotated with the names of many villages, towns, islands, shrines, temples, & ports, and the distances between them.
Black ink & washes of different colors. Japan: late Edo.
A finely executed panoramic map, in scroll format, of the shores of the western portion of Boso Peninsula and the Chiba region’s coastline, which leads into Tokyo Bay. We believe this map was created as part of Japan’s preparations against foreign invaders. In the 1830s and 40s, on several occasions, nations like Russia, Britain, and the United States tried to reconnoiter this area and establish diplomatic relations with the Japanese, only to be forcefully turned away. The coastline depicted in this map was vital to Edo’s security because local officials could alert the capital of interlopers as they approached Edo Bay.
This cartographic scroll, with cardinal directions indicated in several places, begins at Hasama village, passes Tateyama, and proceeds until approximately modern-day Minato. The artist has beautifully re-created the hills and forests behind the towns. Much of this coastline, especially to the north, has been considerably altered today by major landfill projects that have expanded the shore for industrial parks, ports, and recreational areas.
In addition to small villages, shrines, and temples that are marked, a number of jinya are denoted. These were regional administrative buildings that served as the offices of governors or magistrates. Distances between many of the locations are noted.
The scroll has been expertly backed in recent years and has a new, thick wooden roller. Some spotting in a few sections, otherwise in fine condition. Housed in a wooden scroll box.
Item ID: 7707