Chapter

Introduction

Kären Wigen

in A Malleable Map

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780520259188
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945807 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520259188.003.0001
Introduction

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The map of Japan—a collection of forty-three prefectures, forming a smooth arc from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south—is as familiar as to seem eternal. Japan's best known episodes took place along the state's borders. The Yamato chiefdom eratically expanded from its original home in western Honshu until its descendants had claimed most of the archipelago through a millennium of warfare and diplomacy. The recent study traces the restoration of one bounded region in central Honshu. Its terrain—the sprawling district officially known as Nagano Prefecture, or more colloquially by its older labels, Shinshu and Shinano—is in a singular map in many ways. Shinano is known to students across the country as the home of Japan's highest ranges, longest rivers, biggest ski resorts, and the ur-landscape of a mountainous archipelago.

Keywords: Hokkaido; Okinawa; Japan; Honshu; Shinano

Chapter.  7642 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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