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Walter, Lutz, ed., Japan A Cartographic Vision: European Printed Maps from the Early 16th to the 19th Century.  Munich & New York: Prestel-Verlag, 1994.  ISBN 3-7913-1321-5 (English trade edition) and 3-7913-1291-X (German trade edition).  12¼ x 9½ inches.  232 pp.  84 text illus. + 138 plates.  (te Neues Publishing Company, 16 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010.  $75.)

First published in German as a catalog to an exhibition organized for the German East-Asiatic Society in Tokyo on its 120th anniversary, the soft cover catalog (circa $40) was also issued in English and Japanese, and appears to be identical in content to the hard cover book.  The soft cover version is not available to the trade, but it may be possible to obtain copies from the Japan Society Gallery in New York City where the exhibition also appeared.

The book opens with eleven well-illustrated essays on various aspects of European mapping of Japan, followed by a section of color plates and a catalog of maps in the exhibition.  In addition there is a 4-page bibliography and, of particular interest to collectors, a list attempting to describe all pre-1800 European printed maps of Japan.  Entries, which include several quite obscure items, contain short descriptions and note variant states.  The book is well organized and production quality is excellent.  This work is most welcome as there is a scarcity of English-language material on the mapping of Japan, and it is recommended to all who are interested in the subject.

Jon K. Rosenthal, 1995
 

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