Priest ZUDA, ROKASHI [Priest HOTON] (1654-1728). Nansen Bushu Bankoku Shoka no Zu [Visualised map of all the countries of Jambu-Dvipa]. Kyoto: [c.1710].
Hand-coloured woodcut wallmap of the world, on native paper, folding (1,170 x 1,430mm). Chinese text. The map centred on 'Jambu-Dvipa', the mythological heart of buddhist cosmography where Buddha was born in Northern India with the sacred lake of Anavatapta, and the four sacred rivers Ganges, Oxus, Indus, and Tarim flowing from it, the map extending from Ceylon to Siberia, and from Japan to the British Isles 'Country of the Western Woman', with Europe as a group of islands, Africa figured as a small island, and a land bridge connecting China with an unnamed continent to the East [?America], mountains in dark green, deserts in yellow, seas in dark blue, major Chinese regions indicated in red, numerous place names, texts placed at lower left and right corners including a list of Sutras and Chinese histories, title in a banner at upper margin. (Some small tears at old folds, occasional light stains). The map folding with original brown paper upper wrapper and paper-title label (upper wrapper worn).
A RARE AND FINE EXAMPLE OF AN IMPORTANT EARLY JAPANESE BUDDHIST MAP OF THE WORLD, fusing traditional Buddhist belief with European cartography, which remained the prototype for all Japanese Buddhist world maps until the late 19th century. The map is based on the pilgrimage route of the famous Chinese priest Hsuang-Tsang (602-604) who travelled to India in the 7th century to collect holy Sanskrit writings. The first printed Japanese version of the Chinese narrative of the Si-yu-ki was issued in 1653, and was a major incentive for the publication of this map, which was used for Buddhist propaganda and education. The map was drawn up by Inda Rokashi, founder of the Kegonji Temple in Kyoto. Included in this lot is Simon Beal's translation of the Si-yu-ki, London: 1884. N. Muroga and K. Unno, Imago Mundi, vol. 16. 1962; H. Cortazzi, Isles of Gold, p.38; K. Unno, Cartography in Japan, 1994, pp.346-477. (2)