By Kären Wigen
K?ren Wigen probes nearby cartography, choerography, and statecraft to redefine recovery (ishin) in sleek jap historical past. As built the following, that time period designates now not the fast coup d'?tat of 1868 yet a three-centuries-long undertaking of rehabilitating an historical map for contemporary reasons. Drawing on quite a lot of geographical records from Shinano (present-day Nagano Prefecture), Wigen argues that either the founding father of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1600-1868) and the reformers of the Meiji period (1868-1912) recruited the classical map to serve the reason for administrative reform. Nor have been they on my own; provincial males of letters performed an both serious position in bringing imperial geography again to lifestyles within the geographical region. to confirm those claims, Wigen strains the continued occupation of the classical court's most crucial unit of governance--the province--in important Honshu.
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Extra info for A Malleable Map: Geographies of Restoration in Central Japan, 1600-1912 (Asia: Local Studies Global Themes)
T he v ie w fr om k y o t o The sixty-six Japanese provinces originally appeared on the map as locations in a monarch-centered geography. 6 It was along the steepest and most rugged of those circuits, the Eastern Mountain Road or TOsandO (pronounced “Azuma-yama-no-michi” in ancient times), that Shinano found its first location in national space. Viewed from the seat of princely power—that is, from the temperate lowlands fronting the Inland Sea—the highland region known as Shinano appeared as a dark, cold, and forbidding place, the last barrier between the five home provinces (Gokinai) and a troublesome military frontier.
In 1868 Japanese farmers inhabited some seventy thousand legally recognized settlements; within a decade and a half, that number had been slashed to twelve thousand. These newly merged villages and towns were herded into a spate of special-purpose districts, hastily concocted to carry out schooling, oversee road improvements, manage water, conduct censuses, collect taxes, regulate commerce, deliver mail, train soldiers, and police a restive populace. The resulting geography was in some ways more byzantine than the one it replaced, with overlapping jurisdictions that were subject to rapid and repeated readjustments.
As on those medieval maps, individual kuni are mere names in a network, connected by the circuits of the classical era. Each province has been color-coded to represent its overall climate: cold places are shown as black, warm places as white. )18 Kyoto-centricity takes a literal form here; the old capital district of Yamashiro is not only centrally placed but also set oª with a unique symbol (a double circle), while the KantO provinces are shown as a distant hinterland, way out in the righthand margin of the map.
A Malleable Map: Geographies of Restoration in Central Japan, 1600-1912 (Asia: Local Studies Global Themes) by Kären Wigen