A Malleable Map: Geographies of Restoration in Central by Kären Wigen

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By Kären Wigen

K?ren Wigen probes nearby cartography, choerography, and statecraft to redefine recovery (ishin) in smooth eastern historical past. As built the following, that time period designates now not the fast coup d'?tat of 1868 yet a three-centuries-long undertaking of rehabilitating an historic map for contemporary reasons. Drawing on quite a lot of geographical files from Shinano (present-day Nagano Prefecture), Wigen argues that either the founding father of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1600-1868) and the reformers of the Meiji period (1868-1912) recruited the classical map to serve the reason for administrative reform. Nor have been they on my own; provincial males of letters performed an both serious position in bringing imperial geography again to existence within the nation-state. to confirm those claims, Wigen lines the ongoing occupation of the classical court's most crucial unit of governance--the province--in crucial Honshu.

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Extra info for A Malleable Map: Geographies of Restoration in Central Japan, 1600-1912 (Asia: Local Studies Global Themes)

Example text

Nonetheless, the boundaries remained impressionistic, to say the least. Eighteen GyOki-zu from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries survive today;10 a typical example is reproduced in Map 5 (compare Figure 2). A detail from another famous GyOki-style image, the “Map of Great Japan” (Dai Nihon koku no zu) of 1548, is shown in Plate 1. As schematic as they are, these early diagrams concisely convey how Shinano was seen by the court. Relative to ch[to, or the center of the imperium—a designation prominently marked in large characters above Yamashiro Province on Map 4 (see also Figure 1)—Shinano lies to the right, along one of three roads that ran eastward from the capital.

As a result, a geography of Shinano that had developed in classical times remained in public view well into the nineteenth century. Long before that, however, a second conception of Japanese national space began to be articulated, one in which all roads led not to Kyoto but to Edo, the shogun’s headquarters at the edge of the KantO Plain. On maps compiled by the Tokugawa shogunate, the military capital in the east overshadowed the imperial complex in the west, emerging as the chief node of an expanded and reconfigured national network.

Moreover, manuscript maps were not the only ones to adopt this perspective. The commercial publishers who produced the first widely circulated print maps of Shinano in the 1840s eªectively created kuniezu for the public remarkably similar to the ruler’s in both content and conventions. Chapter 2 ends by considering these colorful commercial oªshoots of the shogun’s picture maps, ruminating on their role in forging a wider Shinano identity. Chapter 3 takes up the last cartographic paradigm to emerge in the Toku- 28 a province defined gawa era, one that all but dissolved the provinces into abstract mathematical space.

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