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
19 x 14 inches
48.3 x 35.6 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. German text on verso, published in 1597.
References: Van den Broecke #165; Walter OAG #5, plt. 19.
Full contemporary color on a sheet with a large coat of arms watermark, light soiling and foxing, and chips in the bottom corners of the sheet. A tiny separation and adjacent hole along the centerfold have been archivally repaired on verso.