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JAPAN, NAGASAKI -- CHOKENEMON.
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JAPAN, NAGASAKI -- CHOKENEMON.

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JAPAN, NAGASAKI -- CHOKENEMON.
[Plan of the port and city of Nagasaki. Japan: c.1740]. A detailed manuscript plan of the navigation into Nagasaki, the town, its layout and surrounding areas, orientated to the North West, names in Japanese Katakana and classical Chinese, signed in lower right corner, Chokenemon ink and colours on rice paper, 700 x 1250mm. (Some old worming, the plan backed on thin paper). Presented in concertina form with later paper covers, modern cloth case.

AN EXTRAORDINARY RARE AND EARLY JAPANESE PLAN OF THE TRADING CITY OF NAGASAKI. The detailed plan showing the layout of the town and streets, with street names and individual houses named, the valleys extending behind the town, on the waterfront, Dejima island (the artificial island built for the Portugese, and since occupied by the Dutch East India Company), south west of the Dejima, the Tojin district, is clearly shown with small buildings and blue roofs, where the Chinese lived. The plan clearly marks the Shorikisha, the largest Shinto shrine and nearby the police station and Yakusho, (the administration building supervising foreigners and overseas trade), as well as numerous Buddhist temples and several rice warehouses. A colour scale at the lower margins shows seven colours, grey for the lands of the feudal lord, yellow Shimabara land, violet Omura family land, blue for water, red for roads, dark yellow for rice fields and white for the city centre. In the harbour, the plan shows two Dutch trading ships and several local vessels.

Nagasaki was a small fishing village in the 16th century but grew to be one of the most important cities in Japan by the late 17th century. The Dejima was built in 1634-36 for the Portugese traders, who were expelled in 1639, and their place taken by the Dutch trading out of Batavia. The profits of this the only foreign trading port in Japan brought considerable wealth to the city. It was also a place where European ideas began to infiltrate Japanese society in thought, medicine and science. Famous scholars such as Kaempter, Thunberg, and Siebold, all spent a year or two at Dejima. The earliest printed map of Nagasaki according to Melvin McGovern's list (Imago Mundi Vol.15, 1960) is a plan engraved by Hassendo and published by Hayishi Jizaemon of Kyoto in 1745. The first dated map was published in Nagasaki in 1752.

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