Leiden Asia Year Map #3


Sado no kuni ezu (Pictorial map of Sado Province)

manuscript map, 286 x 212 cm

Serrurier Collection, Collection of Philipp Franz von Siebold, Ser. 275

About 20 large manuscript provincial maps of Japan are part of the Siebold map collection. According to Atsushi Onodera: “Provincial maps were compiled by the orders of Tokugawa Shogunate in the Edo period. The first compilation was made in the Keichō Era (adfter 1604), and the revision was later performed in the Shōhō (after 1644), Genroku (after 1697) and Tenpō Eras (after 1835). The Shōhō’s maps were remade with modifications in the Kanbun Era (1660’s) as the originals were burned down. Other than these compilations, the government ordered feudal lords to submit provincial maps. Japan was composed of 68 provinces except today’s Hokkaido and Okinawa. Maps were produced of all the provinces, including Ryukyu (Okinawa).”

“One of the manuscript maps is this map of Sado Province, which corresponds to Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture today. It is presumably a copy of the official map made in the Shōhō Era, judging from the notations. The notations for villages and the locations of temples are almost the same as those in the map in the Nakagawa Collection (National Archives of Japan), which seems to be a copy of the submitted one to the Tokugawa government. The one in the Siebold collection was presumably made as a draft map for the preview before submission. Since there are no similar maps in Japan, this map is the only one historical source that shows notiations for villages and houses all over Sado Island.”


Aoyama, Hiro’o (ed.), Map materials relating to Philipp FRanz von Siebold in the Netherlands and Germany: With a focus on Leiden, Munich and the Brandenstein Castle. Tokyo: National Museum of Japanese History, 2016

Onodera, Atsushi et al. (eds.), Siebold’s maps: a collection in Japan in the 1820s. 月刊「地理」[Geography Monthly], November 2016.