By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (March 24, 2021) – In Issue 2021-56 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps, it’s all about a Japanese Shogun.

Land of the Rising Sun

Japan was a mostly closed, mysterious land to the West during the 17th to 19th centuries.

Tokugawa Leyasu became a shogun in 1603 on this day, establishing the Tokugawa Shogunate.  Under this feudal rule foreigners were barred to enter, for the most part, supposedly to help maintain political stability.  Japan also experienced significant economic growth during this period.

All good things come to an end, and so did this Shogun period, in 1868 when a strong Imperial rule and the Empire of Japan was established.

This map of a distorted Japan is by Seutter from 1740.  The German cartographer has never set foot on Japan and he based his map mostly on a Japanese folding map which in turn distorted the shape of the islands to fit the size of the folding map.  Be careful what you copy.

Map of Japan – 1740 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.