Map of the Whole World


The first world map published in Japan appeared in 1645. Shown here is a popular version of that first map, published in 1671. It is divided into two parts: the right side contains an oblong egg-shaped world map with the east at the top, while the left side depicts people from 40 countries in national costume. The latter are arrayed in five rows of eight, depicting people both of existing countries, such as Portugal and the Netherlands, and imaginary countries, such as “Dwarf Country” and “Giant Country.” These maps are thought to be based on older Western maps, obtained during the age of Japanese trade with Portugal, and on the world map by Matteo Ricci (1552−1610) obtained through China, rather than on the newer and more accurate maps by Joan Blaeu (1596−1673) that were brought to Japan by the Dutch.

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Publication Information

Hayashi Jizaemon, Kyoto


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Physical Description

1 sheet ; 39.5 x 55.3 centimeters

Last updated: April 25, 2014