Shinano in the World

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:
Shinano in the World

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Shinano was transformed in fundamental ways as commerce enveloped early modern Japan. Specialty crops and commercial fertilizers transformed farming, making it more intensive and more diverse. Brewing, weaving, sericulture, and paper craft made possible a dense web of protoindustrial enterprise. But innovation was not confined to the productive sphere. Shinano also participated in the eighteenth century's enthusiastic experimentation in the arts and letters. Japanese domestic cartography essentially declined when the leading states of Europe and North America embarked on ambitious projects that revolutionized cartographic practice and scientific images of their terrain. The necessary foundation for that new vision was a century of patient work in applied mathematics. A new map of Japan materialized because a sake brewer and amateur astronomer named Ino Tadataka offered to lead a small team of assistants from Edo to Ezo and back again at his own expense measuring each step of the way. Ino was then revered in Japan for his coastal maps.

Keywords: Europe; North America; terrain; Ino Tadaka; Edo

Chapter.  13134 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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