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Engelbert Kaempfer: Ichnographia Urbis Iedo

Map: SEAS4858
Cartographer: Engelbert Kaempfer
Title: Ichnographia Urbis Iedo
Date: 1727
Published: London
Width: 16 inches / 41 cm
Height: 14 inches / 36 cm
Map ref: SEAS4858
Highly significant map of Iedo or modern Tokyo from Kaempfer's account, the most detailed European description of Japanese life and culture before the mid-19th century.

Kaempfer's work was not only important for its maps but also for the history of science and for the annals of natural history. He was a doctor and his first priority was the cataloguing of Japanese herbs and plants. The maps were of equal importance as they were a primary source and although this plan of Tokyo may not have been the earliest printed map of the city, it was certainly the most accurate at the time and used as a source by other mapmakers for over a century.

The illustrated designs on the borders were the identifying symbols of the powerful nobles of Japan. On the lower right is a series of standards. [SEAS4858]