ZUDA ROKASHI (PRIEST HOTAN). 1654-1728. Nansenbushu Bankoku Shoka no zu [Map of the Countries in Jambudvipa]. Kyoto: Uhei Bundaiken, [c.1710].
Uncolored woodcut wall-map of the world in Buddhist form, 1160 x 1430 mm, in Chinese, on multiple joined sheets, printed on Japanese paper, folding into old blue papered covers with blind stamped lotus leaf pattern, title label on upper cover. The map titled along upper margin with extensive descriptions lower left and right, seas with stylized wave forms, mountains heightened with shading. Light browning along a few folds, the blue paper covers worn.
A FINE AND RARE EXAMPLE OF ONE OF THE FIRST LARGE FORMAT JAPANESE MAPS OF THE BUDDHIST WORLD. The map was drawn up by Priest Hotan, founder of the Kegonji Temple in Kyoto. Hotan undoubtedly used as his source for this map an anonymous manuscript map found in Professor Matsutaro Namba's papers and dated to 1708-9 (that map 1560 x 1560 mm and with wider borders). The tradition of the Japanese copying Chinese Buddhist maps dates back to the 14th century, the maps showing the pilgrimage written by Hsuan-tsang, the well known Buddhist Chinese Priest who visited India in the 7th century to collect Sanskrit texts which he translated into Chinese, helping Buddhism establish itself in China from where it spread to Japan. Various manuscript versions of the early forms of these Buddhist maps, Gotenjiku zu (the map of the five Indies) are to be found in the great Temples of Japan from 1364 onwards, but the first printed version of the pilgrimage route was issued only in a small format, a Japanese version of the Chinese text Si-yu-ki in 1653. Hotan's large-size printed form was very popular in its time and became the Japanese standard of the Buddhist World map on which all others were copied up until the 19th century. Unno Cartography of Japan 1994, pp 346-477. See also Nobuo Muroga "The Buddhist world map in Japan and its contact with European maps" in Imago Mundi (1962) [a presentation copy of this offprint is included with the lot]; and Beans 1710.1 and 1710.4; Cortazzi Isles of Gold p 38.