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The Shogun’s World

Art Institute of Chicago


Japanese Maps from the 18th and 19th Centuries

Maps are practical tools for understanding the world we inhabit, but they are not only visual representations of a particular place and time; their presentations can be strikingly beautiful as well. Japanese mapmaking is particularly distinct, even within the broader context of East Asia’s unique traditions. A multi-directional view, the use of map designs on ceramic plates, and the integration of Western practices like the compass rose, bird’s eye view, and latitude are all part of Japan’s approach to cartography in the 18th and 19th centuries. Read more.

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