KOYANO ISHUN (YOSHIHARU, 1756-1812) Bankoku Ichiran no Zu (A Map of the World)Edo period (1615-1868), circa 1800

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Lot 314
KOYANO ISHUN (YOSHIHARU, 1756-1812)
Bankoku Ichiran no Zu (A Map of the World)
Edo period (1615-1868), circa 1800

Sold for US$ 14,025 inc. premium
Property of Various Owners
KOYANO ISHUN (YOSHIHARU, 1756-1812)
Bankoku Ichiran no Zu (A Map of the World)
Edo period (1615-1868), circa 1800

Two-panel screen, painted in ink and colors on paper, signed Koyano Yoshiharu and sealed


67 3/4 x 67 3/4in ( 172 x 172cm)

Footnotes

  • The map centered on China and Japan showing an unusual view of the world with Asia clearly and accurately defined; the Americas compressed and running down the eastern margin; Africa to the west and Europe to the northwest; with numerous names of countries, provinces, and towns, some in blocked squares; also showing Mount Fuji, the Great Wall of China and a gilded star titled Hokkyoku (North Pole); the regional zones filled in with color, the seas in blue, the colder lands (Arctic and Ezo or Hokkaido) in white; at lower left a detailed explanation panel describing the continents; the map laid on paper, mounted as a two-panel folding screen, with silk brocade borders, the reverse of the screen papered with Japanese account sheets from the mid-1920s

    The author of this map was Koyano Ishun, a neo-Confucian scholar with an interest in world cartography. The present screen is a manuscript version of a much smaller woodblock-printed world map with the same title, published by Koyano in Osaka in 1809 (digital versions are accessible on several sites including the National Diet Library, https://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/2541228 and Yokohama City University, http://www-user.yokohama-cu.ac.jp/~ycu-rare/pages/WC-0_115.html).

    In an extended caption to the 1809 printed map, Koyano notes that since his pupils were having difficulty understanding double hemispherical world maps he has created his own. He draws on a wide variety of sources ranging from European versions introduced to China by the Jesuit Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) to an outline of India taken from an influential map by the Buddhist priest Hotan (1654-1728), published in 1710. Such sources allowed Koyano to create a tolerably faithful image of Asia, but his depiction of the Americas, Africa and Europe is drawn with less accuracy. For the Americas, he records California as an island and adds about ten place names—in Chinese characters alongside a Japanese phonetic version—to North America, while in Asia the Kamchatka peninsula is depicted almost north of Japan, there is a clear Bering Strait, and Russia has a large series of named places; in Europe, Scotland, England, and Ireland are also named. Curiously the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia is shown as a frigid zone. The lettering on the explanation varies from the map in the number of columns and also records an extra continent (name erased), probably the Arctic regions.

    Another large manuscript world map by Koyano, entitled Bankoku no zue (Map of All the Nations), is in the University of British Columbia; in that map the Americas are drawn as a series of small islands running northwest to southeast; see https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/tokugawa/items/1.0227940.
Contacts
KOYANO ISHUN (YOSHIHARU, 1756-1812) Bankoku Ichiran no Zu (A Map of the World)Edo period (1615-1868), circa 1800
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