Fine Manuscript Map of Mount Fuji and Suruga Province

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Fine Manuscript Map of Mount Fuji and Suruga Province

Japan


Published by Japan: Suruga Province, ca 1716-1735., 1735
Several sheets of native paper joined, float-mounted and framed (framed size: 67 x 67 inches).
Original pen and ink and watercolour map of Suruga Province, featuring Mount Fuji, and showing significant villages and other notable landmarks, calligraphic notations in the margins and throughout detail the local economy.
A fascinating and important map of Suruga province, which now comprises Shizuoka and parts of Yamanashi and Kanagawa prefectures, showing the seven prefectures of Suruga: Shida, Mashizu, Abe, Udo, Ihara, Fuji, and Sunto, with a magnificent view Mount Fuji and surrounding foothills. This map represented an economic report from the Japanese lords (daimyo) under the Sankin Kotai system which they submitted to the Shogun in Edo (Tokyo). It was a vital part of a system of "alternate attendance" whereby daimyo were required to spend at least 6 months in Edo. This practice lasted for more than 200 years during the Tokugawa era. It has strong similarities to visitations of the noble families of France to Versailles where they were kept in style by a monarch who wished to keep a sharp eye on them. Daimyo brought with them maps such as this, in effect an economic report giving details of all local agricultural and other resources. The locations of all villages and towns, all trails, roads, and sea routes, and the distance between various destinations are given. Based on maps such as these, the Shogun would gather the facts upon which he would base his taxation of the daimyo. The map shows one of the most prosperous areas of the Shogunate, an area on the Tokaido road including Hara, Numazu, and Mishima. In addition to agricultural production, the area received income by virtue of the fact that it was on the Eastern Mountain route between Kamakura (near Kyoto) and Edo. Processions of daimyo and their retinues passed through the area and availed themselves of the inns, restaurants, and other forms of hospitality in the area. The area is still a center of commerce and agriculture in Japan. Suruga province was dissolved in 1868 under the Meiji restoration.
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