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

By Kären Wigen

K?ren Wigen probes neighborhood cartography, choerography, and statecraft to redefine recovery (ishin) in sleek eastern heritage. As built right here, that time period designates now not the fast coup d'?tat of 1868 yet a three-centuries-long undertaking of rehabilitating an historical map for contemporary reasons. Drawing on a variety of geographical records 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 function in bringing imperial geography again to lifestyles within the nation-state. to verify those claims, Wigen lines the continued profession of the classical court's most vital unit of governance--the province--in primary 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

37 In practice, the second term in that series has always been the most fungible, since a region might range from one turnpike to an extended road network, or from one tributary valley to a whole watershed. Premodern map terminology reflects this indeterminacy. Where local depictions were typically called ezu (picture maps), and those of the empire were more grandly termed yochizu, sOzu, or zenzu (all-encompassing maps), any of these terms might be used for maps of intermediate scope. This terminological ambiguity was matched in the visual register, since cartography at this scale routinely combined pictorial elements with partial plan views.

5 Much less noticed is how either kind of itinerary map portrayed the Japanese provinces. And no wonder. As we will see, marking out a region like Shinano on a byzantine route map or a borderless panorama is a laborious procedure, and one that goes against the grain of this route-centered material. But the eªort is richly rewarded. For one thing, delineating an individual province illuminates how freely these topological maps reordered national space. For another, it yields a definitive inventory of destinations with which a place like Shinsh[ had come to be identified.

A vast variety of subjects could be accommodated (since virtually anything could potentially be mapped, measured, or described), and their flexible formats could be condensed or ex16 introduction panded at will. Finally, the documents considered here were fundamentally instrumental, meant not to be contemplated but to be used. Most were physically portable, the better to be carried and consulted in the field. But even those that were unwieldy or fragile, like the shogun’s room-sized picture maps of the provinces (kuniezu), operated less as decorative objects than as reference works.

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