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HAYASHI SHIHEI - Sangoku Tsuran Zusetsu (Illustrated General Survey of the Three Countries).

HAYASHI SHIHEI - Sangoku Tsuran Zusetsu (Illustrated General Survey of the Three Countries).
Sangoku Tsuran Zusetsu (Illustrated General Survey of the Three Countries). - HAYASHI SHIHEI
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Title : Sangoku Tsuran Zusetsu (Illustrated General Survey of the Three Countries)..
Date : Edo, Suharaya Shihei, in Temmei 5 or 1786.
Size : 17.3 x 21.1 inches. / 44.0 x 53.5 cm.
Colouring : In original colours.

Description : A banned and controversial work representing one of the earliest attempts to define Japan in terms of its outer boundaries. It represented a modern effort to distinguish Japan from the neighboring nations.
The book deals with Joseon Dynasty (Korea) and the Kingdom of Ryukyu (Okinawa), and Ezo (Hokkaido) and the Ogasawara Islands (Bonin Islands).
When this work was initially published, c. 1785, the content was as controversial as it is today.
Hayashi Shihei was a samurai of the Sendai clan issued in 1785 (Tenmei 5) and he issued this book consisting of five maps and one text volume which detailed the customs of Korea, Ryukyu Kingdom, and Ezo country (Hokkaido).
Shihei, who felt the nation's crisis was due to the repeated arrivals of foreign ships, had begun writing the "Kaikoku Heidan" which discussed the defense of the coast from the year after Sangoku Tsuran Zusetsu publication. (published in 1787)
There was no publisher who undertakes the publication of this work which can be interpreted as criticism of the Tokugawa shogunate, and this book was issued at Shihei's own account in 1787-1791. The following year, the Tokugawa shogunate evaluated the content of this book as a delusion, banned it in 1792 = Kansei 4, and decided the home arrest of Shihei further. Sangoku Tsuran Zusetsu also became a collateral victim of this banning and the woodblocks of two books were seized; almost all the original woodblock printed versions of Sangoku Tsuran Zusetsu were collected and destroyed. Nonetheless, Shihei's work survived and manuscript copies of his maps began to circulate in learned Japanese circles. Today, few examples of Shihei's book are recorded.
Ironically, shortly after he was punished, a Russian ship arrived in Nemuro, and the shogunate was forced to take measures to protect the coast.

However, this book went from Nagasaki to Holland and Germany through Katsuragawa Honshu (was a doctor and Edan scholar in Edo) later and was translated into European languages in Russia. In 1872, it was translated into French by the German Oriental scholar Heinrich Klaproth.)
See lot 41650 in this auction for the French translation.

The most controversial map in the book is the map Sangoku tsūran yochi rotei zenzu. (Illustrated General Route Map of the Three Countries.) The three countries, in this case, refer to the three nations bordering Japan: Yezo (Hokkaido), Korea, and the Ryukyu Kingdom (Okinawa). In modern terms, it covers from the Sea of Okhotsk and the southern tip of Kamchatka south as far as Taiwan and the Ogasawara Islands, including the modern-day countries of Japan and Korea, as well as parts of China and Russia.

Shihei's map is an intrinsically Japanese production, and for this reason, it is as controversial today as when it was first issued, c. 1785 – although for different reasons.
Today, it is significant because it includes the disputed Dokdo Islands (Takeshima / Liancourt Rocks) definitively defined as Korean territory (朝鮮ノ持ニ).
These islands are a current point of diplomatic contention between Japan and South Korea, with both claiming sovereignty by historical precedent – which is why this map is significant. Some early maps and other records identify the islands as Japanese, others as Korean. What makes this issue even more complex is that historically the islands were somewhat unimportant and were not consistently mapped using the same nomenclature. So, while many early maps, issued by Korean, Japanese, and foreign publishers, do identify the islets, they frequently have different names and it is not always completely clear that the islands shown are in fact the Dokdo / Takeshima / Liancourt archipelago. Which is why this map is so significant. The fact that Shihei's map, being essentially Japanese, recognizes Korean sovereignty over the islets has been aggressively used by Korean authorities in their claims.

The Senkaku Islands dispute
or Diaoyu Islands dispute, concerns a territorial dispute over a group of uninhabited islands known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, the Diaoyu Islands in the People's Republic of China and Tiaoyutai Islands in the Republic of China (ROC or Taiwan).
Hayashi Shihei positioned on his map the Diaoyutais as belonging to China, not to the kingdom of the Ryukyus which was a vassal state paying tribute to the court in Beijing as well as to the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo or present-day Tokyo. That is the reason why the high court in Tokyo gave the fishing rights to the prefecture of Taihoku (Taipei) rather than to Okinawa while Taiwan was under Japanese colonial rule from 1895 to 1945. For that reason, too, the Empress Dowager of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) gave the small islands to her court minister Sheng Hsuan-huai as a fief.
Japan took over the administration of the Senkakus after 1895, following the cession of Taiwan by the Qing court. But the Okinawa chain was occupied by the United States towards the end of World War II. Washington restored the entire island chain to Japanese sovereignty in 1972, but neither Taiwan nor the People's Republic accepts the Diaoyutais as part of the islands thus restored to Japan.

The maps
Map: 1. Sangoku tsūran yochi rotei zenzu (三国通覧輿地路程全図) [Complete Picture of World Distances of the Outline of the Three Countries] 765 x 535mm.
Including: Sagariin [Sakhalin Island], Kamsikatstoka, Isseo Ye Biskokof [Hokkaido], Grand Niphon [all Japanese Islands], Rioukiou Kokf [Loo Choo Islands], Taiwan, the coast of mainland China from the Sagariin River in the North, down to Kouang Touang & Fou Kian in the South, with Tche Kiang, Nan King, Chan Toung, Tsio Sen Coree [Korea], Liao Touong and Mantsiou [Manchuria] areas nicely shown.

Map 2: Chōsen koku zenzu (朝鮮国全図) [Complete Picture of the Country of Korea] 765 x 535 mm.
A magnificent pictorial map, with yellow outline, showing the whole country and each of its provinces, with the King's Residence located in KING KI [Seoul] with a large black square castle noted. The upper portion or the North, shows Liao Toung & Ju Tchin, with the rivers separating them from Korea. Each province named, with rivers, main towns, villages, mountains & rivers noted. The lower portion shows Tsousima in green, some 40 Ri [miles] from Korea. To the East is the Thsian Chan Koue island. This is a major & primitive European map of Korea.

Map 3: Ezo koku zenzu (蝦夷国全図) [Complete Picture of the Country of Ezo] 970 x 535 mm.
A primitive map of Hokkaido showing Kamsikatstoka or Kouroumouse to the North in red outline, Sagariin Island in green outline, Karafouto-Sima to the West with yellow & brown outline and part of Mantsiou. The main island of Iesso is with brown outline, and shows mountains, rivers, towns and sea routes in Ri [miles], with Province Ooshiou in the south and Matsumaye at the tip of Iesso in green outline, noting Japanese influence.

Map 4: Ryūkyū zenzu (琉球全図) [Complete Picture of the Ryūkyūs] 765 x 535mm.
Is a great example of an early primitive European map. Shows the tip of Japan at the North and Kagoshima with adjacent Islands in green. The Ryukyu chain begins in brown, with Oosima & Toknosima, the main island and the citadel Ziouli in heavy black outline, all provinces, cities, mountains noted. The outer islands, South to Yama Island and its smaller islands then Taiwan in yellow. The coast of China in red shows Kyoo To Sio, Fo Ken Sio, Se Kiang Sio, Nan King Sio, San Tong Sio [provinces] to the West. The major sea routes from Japan are recorded with a dotted line in Li [miles] all through the chain and to Fo Ken.

Map 5
Mujintō no zu (無人島之図) Picture of the Uninhabited Islands. 664 x 266 mm.
Shown just below Idzou province in Japan in green outline, along with the scattered islands and the ship route with Ri [miles]. Down to the Ogassawara chain outlined in red.

Condition : One text volume and 5 maps. The volume contains 107 pages (54 folded leaves) printed on Japanese washi paper, each leaf folded in the traditional ehon style. 32 of the pages contain wood cut illustrations. The maps with the usual worm traces, or paper thinning; expertly repaired. Generally in very good condition. Stunning original colours.

ID: 41649

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