Dr. Yonemoto is an assistant professor of history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309–0234.
MAPS AND METAPHORS OF THE “SMALL EASTERN SEA” IN TOKUGAWA JAPAN (1603–1868)*
Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
1999 American Geographical Society
Volume 89, Issue 2, pages 169–187, April 1999
How to Cite
YONEMOTO, M. (1999), MAPS AND METAPHORS OF THE “SMALL EASTERN SEA” IN TOKUGAWA JAPAN (1603–1868). Geographical Review, 89: 169–187. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.1999.tb00212.x
The author would like to thank the organizers of the Oceans Connect project, Martin Lewis and Kären Wigen, all the participants in the Oceans Connect workshop at Duke University in October 1998, and the editors and anonymous readers at the Geographical Review for their comments on and assistance with earlier drafts of this article.
- Issue published online: 21 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
- Pacific Ocean;
- Tokugawa period
ABSTRACT. This article examines the ways in which oceans were depicted in Japanese geographical writings and maps from the Tokugawa period. It uses these texts to understand how early modern Japanese visions of the Pacific and of maritime Asian waters constructed epistemological frameworks through which the Japanese saw their place in an increasingly complex web of regional and global connections. In the absence of actual adventure on the “high seas,” Japanese writers, artists, and mapmakers used the inventive power of the imagination to fill in the cognitive blank of ocean space. I argue that the definition of early modern oceanic space was profoundly ambiguous, a legacy that, it can be argued, left its mark on Japan's modern relationship with the Asian Pacific region.