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Subject:Old Japanese map
Posted By: Paul Wed, Jan 04, 2017 IP:

I got this old map a while back, thinking it was a Chinese map of some Chinese coastal area. Several days later, taking a closer look, I noticed the finely-printed katakana throughout the map, making it Japanese. And then, to my surprise, I discovered that "up" is West, not North, as usual with maps. Voila! Europe.

My question: Is it dated?

Also, what else of interest about the map might be revealed by the writing on top and on the far left?


Subject:Re: Old Japanese map
Posted By: rat Wed, Jan 04, 2017

seems to be dated at the top of the columns of writing along the left margin to some point early in the Taisho era, meaning after 1912. the publisher's name in Tokyo is in the closeup you provided.

Subject:Re: Old Japanese map
Posted By: Paul Thu, Jan 05, 2017

Additional photo: close-up of the top of the left-hand column writing.

Subject:Re: Old Japanese map
Posted By: rat Fri, Jan 06, 2017

thanks, the date is August 1914 (or late September if they were following the lunar calendar then, I am not sure what the practice was at that time)

Subject:Re: Old Japanese map
Posted By: Bill H Fri, Jan 06, 2017

The bold line of print at the top of the map can be translated across from the right as "New map of the most recent conflicts in Europe".

Beginning at the top left side of the last image of the map shown immediately above, the pairs of stacked characters read together down and across from the right in three sections as:

"Print date of August 10 in the third year of Taisho (1914) and publication date of August 13 in the third year of Taisho;

Next the address of the publisher in Tokyo (rest untranslated);

Then a short group of three-character stacks with the title "Concurrent Compilation Editor & Publisher" followed by a single stack of larger print, possibly a name, 中材惣郎 (possible name untranslated).

The preceding is based on my reading of these Characters in Chinese. Further translation and any transliteration into Japanese would require someone better versed than I am in the language.

Best regards,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Old Japanese map
Posted By: Paul Sat, Jan 07, 2017

Thank you, Bill H and rat.

The "New map of the most recent conflicts in Europe" (and the dating) is interesting because I was initially trying to determine the approximate date based on country boundaries.

But there were several problem areas (like just to the north of Greece and Turkey) where the boundaries didn't correspond with any particular year or period that I could find. The changes, border shifting, and uncertainties associated with war explain it, I think.

(August, 1914 was just a few weeks after things started getting hot, right at the beginning of the Great War.)

Thanks again!

Subject:Re: Old Japanese map
Posted By: Bill H Sun, Jan 08, 2017

There's more than a little distortion in your map. If this had been the only kind of map available to Tuchman, the "Guns of August" might've gone unwritten.

Bill H. | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |