Detailed Map of the Country of Chōsen


This Japanese map of Korea, published in Tokyo in 1873, is one of the earliest complete maps of the peninsula produced in Japan during the Meiji period (1868‒1912). It draws on earlier maps and was edited by Nobufusa Somezaki (1818‒86), also known as Shunsui Tamenaga, Junior, a gesakusha (writer of entertaining fiction) and journalist. The map appears to have been included in Tamenaga’s two-volume Chōsen jijō (Korean affairs) published in 1874, for which Neisai Ishizuka is credited as a co-author. Chōsen and Chosŏn are, respectively, the Japanese and Korean names for Korea. The book includes more detail than appears on the map, for example concerning numbers of houses and population, as well as information about Korean history, the system of government, laws, the types of weapons produced in Korea, and the daily lives of the people. It cites references for this information. On the map, the small scripts next to the sentences of text indicate how Chinese characters can be easily read. Scale on the map is marked in ri, a unit of measurement that has varied historically and was used in China, Japan, and Korea. The red diamond shape marks Keijō, the Japanese name for present-day Seoul, and the red circle denotes P’yongyang. The large river at the north of the peninsula is the Yalu (also called the Amnok).

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Tokyo Publishing Company, Tokyo


Title in Original Language


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : color ; 104 x 71 centimeters


  1. Charles Dallet, Histoire de l'Église de Corée, précédée d'une introduction sur l'histoire, les institutions, la langue, les moeurs et coutumes coréennes (Paris: V. Palmé, 1874).
  2. Charles Dallet, Johannes Lydius Catharinus Pompe van Meerdervoort, and Enomoto Takeaki, Chōsen jijō [Korean affairs] (Tokyo: Ukichi Yuzo, 1876).

Last updated: April 13, 2016