1757 Bellin Antique Map Plan of the City of Tokyo, Edo, Yeddo - Emperors Palace

Cartographer : Jacques Nicholas Bellin

Description: 
This beautifully hand coloured original antique map* a plan of the Japanese Capital of Tokyo or Edo (Jedo) as it was known at the time, by Jacques Nicolas Bellin was published in the 1757 French edition of Antoine-François Prevosts 20 volume L`Histoire Generale des Voyages published by Pierre de Hondt in the Hague between 1747 & 1785.
The map contains the location of 3 important areas in the title cartouche 1. The Emperors Palace 2. The Bridge of Japan 3. The Port of Jedo or Tokyo.
This map is cartographically based on a 1702 map of the same issued by Scheuchzer and Kaempfer, which itself is most likely based on Japanese maps. Centered on Edo Castle, this map depicts the whole of Edo as it existed, with numerous street shown but not named. Edo Castle itself is fancifully depicted as a French style formal garden. Possibly due to the cartographers inability to translate Japanese, the only three named locations on the map are Edo Castle, Japan Bridge, and the 'Faubourg de Sinagawa.' Here, in Sinagawa, the Tokugawa Shogunate maintained the Suzugamori Execution grounds where traitors to the state, criminals, and Christians were executed in an effort to contain 'spiritual pollution.

Background: Edo also Yedo or Yeddo, is the ancient name of Tokyo. It was the seat of power for the Tokugawa shogunate, which ruled Japan from 1603 to 1868. During this period, it grew to become one of the largest cities in the world and home to an urban culture centered on the notion of a "floating world"
From the establishment of the Tokugawa bakufu headquarters at Edo, the town became the de facto capital and center of political power, although  Kyoto remained the formal capital of the country. Edo grew from what had been a small, little-known fishing village in 1457 into the largest metropolis in the world with an estimated population of 1,000,000 by 1721.
Edo was repeatedly devastated by fires, with the Great Fire of Meireki in 1657 being the most disastrous. An estimated 100,000 people died in the fire. During the Edo period, there were about 100 fires mostly begun by accident and often quickly escalating and spreading through neighborhoods of wooden machiya which were heated with charcoal fires. Between 1600 and 1945, Edo/Tokyo was leveled every 25–50 years or so by fire, earthquakes, or war.
In 1868, when the shogunate came to an end, the city was renamed Tokyo  ("eastern capital"). The emperor moved his residence to Tokyo, making the city the formal capital of Japan.  

Antoine François Prévost d'Exiles  1697 - 1763, usually known simply as the Abbé Prévost, was a French author and novelist. (Ref: Tooley; M&B)

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: - Early
Colors used: - Yellow, green, red, brown.
General color appearance: - Authentic and fresh
Paper size: - 14in x 10 1/2in (355mm x 260mm)
Plate size: - 10 1/2in x 10 1/2in (260mm x 260mm)
Margins: - Min 1/4in (6mm)

Imperfections:
Margins: - None
Plate area: - Folds as issued
Verso: - None

$225.00