Maps drawn by Mori Kōan


This database provides access to the images of many of the maps that appear in the Zōho kaitei Mori Kōan no egaita chizu [Maps Drawn by Mori Kōan, Enlarged Edition], published as No. 54 in the Nichibunken Japanese Studies Series. The database includes most of the maps, with the exception of those for which permission to place on open access could not be obtained from the collectors, making the database an epochal tool for detailed viewing of many old maps drawn by the eighteenth-century draftsman and map-maker Mori Kōan. Access to the database by smartphone can be obtained by photographing the QR code provided at the side of each map in the Zōho Kaitei Mori Kōan no egaita chizu. A new system has been installed so that the map chosen by smartphone can be viewed on your computer.

Excerpt from the Preface to Zōho kaitei Mori Kōan no egaita chizu (Nichibunken Japanese studies series No. 54)
Ten years have passed since the publication in 2003 of the Mori Kōan no egaita chizu [Maps Drawn by Mori Kōan] as No. 29 in the Nichibunken Japanese Studies series. During that time, the book received a positive response from other researchers, contributed to the education of society, and was introduced in the media, eliciting great interest in Mori Kōan not only among scholars but general readers as well. Mori Kōan’s significance in history has thus been widely recognized. We ourselves had been engaged in a detailed survey of various catalogs, as the result of which we newly discovered maps that helped to fill in gaps in the abovementioned book. As the 2003 book itself had pointed out, Kōan’s maps can have the ripple effect of being taken up in research in a wide range of fields. The book, however, was part of the report of results of research funded by a subsidy for promoting cooperation between scholars and local communities provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and was therefore “not for sale.” Distribution was limited to the copies that Nichibunken donated to university libraries, research institutions, and other organizations, when requests from individuals could not always be fulfilled, disappointing the many people interested in obtaining a copy.
Given such circumstances, we thought it worth reorganizing Kōan’s maps and publishing an enlarged edition for a wider readership one decade after the 2003 Nichibunken book came out. Following the idea mentioned in the original book of organizing and systematizing the maps from the point of view of “time, space, and information,” the enlarged edition presents the maps in the arrangement intended by Mori Kōan, providing bibliographical information and annotation for each of the maps. In the book’s bibliographical essay I attempted to give the most comprehensive picture of Kōan that can be captured, as well as based on the latest research and writing about him. At the end of the enlarged edition, as in the 2003 edition, the indexes in the volume list the maps by content, owner/collection, and period/date of production, for the convenience of searching.
In the 2003 edition, many of Kōan’s hand-drawn maps could not be included for lack of funds, but the new edition includes many more of them, as well as hand-copied maps, including newly discovered ones, with the result that it contains double the number of maps in the previous edition. While perhaps not yet the “complete maps” Mori Kōan, it presents the fullest possible collection at this point in time.

MORI Hirohisa  Associate Professor, Office for Virtual Resources
TSUJIGAKI Kōichi  Teacher, Kyoto Prefectural Shūchi High School (Former visiting associate professor, Office for Virtual Resources)

Data Count: 383 items (As of February 2017)

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