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Monday, February 23, 2015

Map of Tochigi-ken 1870

Okay... here's something cool. It's a map of present-day Tochigi-ken - except that it's a map of it back in 1840 when it was known as Shimotsuke-ken. It actually lists the capital of the province as Tochigi-shi (Ccity of Tochigi), which it was until 1873 when power was transferred to Utsunomiya-shi (City of Utsunomiya).

It's more of interest to me, I suppose, because that's where I lived in Japan - Tochigi-ken. But, it's also because it's a pretty old map of Japan from a time when there really weren't good maps of Japan.

I'll be honest... I can't tell just what is being show on the map. Is it the cities and then all the little hamlets within the surrounding areas, or does it show thee more prominent family names?

The map is for sale on E-Bay, at the price of $675.

It is a a woodblock, hand-colored map by Akiyama Einen (surname first).

The E-Bay seller actually provides a fair bit of background history on maps, Tochigi-ken - sorry, Shimotsuke-ken.

The map is 21 x 14.5 inches (535mm x 370mm) in size - so it's a nice size.

The map is being offered for sale by a seller with over 5,000 sales and 100% positive feedback, and claims to only sell genuine articles, not reproductions. 5,000 is a lot of good sales.

Should you be interested in bidding on this item and sending it to me as a present, or if you are the type who want to have it all to themselves like a bag of popcorn when watching a movie, click HERE.

Personally, I'm not a collector of maps, but I do like artsy woodblocks (ukiyo-e) depicting women in kimono - alone or in a scene, but this map is pretty damn interesting.

Just today when I went to the mall to get some plastic sleeves for my baseball, hockey, football and basketball cards, I was pleased to see that they had an antique sidewalk sale, and I spent an hour or so chatting with dealers on everything from masks to ephemera (paper).

Not surprisingly, in a world dominated by computers, paper-related products were fairly scarce at this event. 

Andrew Joseph

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