2 prints: color, woodblock ; 13 x 35 inches and 19 x 26 inches
Matsushima-machi (Miyagi-ken, Japan)
Translation of title and other data provided by Chang-su Houchins, of the Smithsonian Department of Anthropology. She consulted "Historical and Geographical Dictionary of Japan" by E. Papinot, 1948; and "Nihon Kokugo dai-jiten" (Encyclopedia of Japanese Language), 1976, volume 9.
Historical Ōshu was comprised of what is now Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate and Aomori prefectures. The modern city of Ōshu in Iwate prefecture was founded on February 20, 2006, as the result of a merger between the cities of Esashi and Mizusawa, the towns of Maesawa and Isawa and the village of Koromogawa from Isawa District. Matsushima is a town located in modern Miyagi prefecture, which overlooks the Matsushima scenic coastal area known as one of the Three Views of Japan. The Shiogama shrine, an important Shinto shrine, is located in Matsushima. Kobe is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū and was one of the first cities to be opened for trade with the West following the end of the policy of seclusion.
This collection is comprised of two color woodblock print Japanese maps from circa 1868. The first map (13x 35 inches) is entitled "Ōshu Matsushima Shiogama z̲e̲n̲z̲u̲" and depicts Matsushima-Shiogama in Miyagi Prefecture circa 1806. An English caption title reads "Matsushima (about 130 years ago - 1806)" and is affixed on the lower margin of the backing. The map also bears the artist's seals and the carver's inscription "Tōto Masushi s̲e̲n̲." The second map (19 x 26 inches) depicts Kobe circa 1868 and has a title in English affixed to the top margin of the backing, which reads "Kobe in 1968 (The Opening Year to Foreign Trade)." A handwritten Japanese inscription on the upper right border of the map reads "K̲e̲i̲ō̲ y̲o̲n̲e̲n̲ t̲s̲u̲c̲h̲i̲-̲n̲o̲-̲e̲ t̲a̲t̲s̲u̲ s̲h̲i̲g̲a̲t̲s̲u̲ s̲h̲i̲m̲̲p̲a̲n̲." The harbor view is highlighted with ships flying foreign flags; vilages, streets, temples and shrines are labeled.
Manuscript 1988-28, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution