Ortelius' Influential Map of Japan
"Iaponiae Insulae Descriptio. Ludoico Teisera Auctore", Ortelius, Abraham
Subject: Japan & Korea
Period: 1595 (dated)
Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum
Color: Hand Color
18.8 x 13.9 inches
47.8 x 35.3 cm
This landmark map was the first map of Japan published in a European atlas. Ortelius received the map from Ludovico Teixeira, a Portuguese Jesuit cartographer and mathematician. While Teixeira had not personally traveled to Japan, he obviously had access to Japanese sources as the map presents the first reasonably accurate and recognizable depiction of the island nation with numerous Japanese place names. Korea appears as an island tapering to a point labeled Punta dos ladrones. The map is elegantly embellished with three large galleons, two elaborate cartouches, and a boldly engraved border. This influential map was to become the basis for many other cartographers' maps of Japan for more than fifty years. Latin text on verso with page number 120, published in 1612.
References: Van den Broecke #165; Walter OAG #5, plt. 19.
A fine impression in original color on a watermarked and lightly toned sheet. There is a short centerfold separation at center and a few holes just outside the corners of the platemark caused by paper weakness. A large damp stain is confined to the top blank margin.