1719 L'Empire du Japon, tire des cartes des Japonnois
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By: Henri Abraham Chatelain
Date of Original: 1719 (Published) Amsterdam
Original Size: 15.5 x 18 inches (35.5 x 43.2 cm)
This is a fine print reproduction of an original antique map that was published by Henri Chatelain in 1719 for his "Atlas Historique," which was intended for the general public and was one of the most widely distributed atlases of the early 18th century.
In order to produce his atlas, Chatelain was compelled to draw upon the work of his contemporaries. Much of the map was taken from Adrien Reland’s earlier rendering of Japan. Reland’s map was a marked improvement over earlier European maps of Japan in some respects. For instance, it provided an improved treatment of Kyushu and fully delineated the sixty six provinces of Japan using Sino-Japanese characters. It also included a detailed inset of Nagasaki, which displayed the Dejima, an artificial lake which housed the Dutch trading station of the VOC.
Despite these advancements, this map also includes some inaccuracies. Reland originally intended to create a travel map, and formatting constraints meant that he had to represent Honshu in a truncated form. In addition, Chatelain made some errors when translating Reland’s map from Dutch into French, leaving some of the Japanese provinces with incorrect names.