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  • By Joan Blaeu
  • 1 hanging scroll
  • Color on bronze plate
  • 203.0x300.9
  • Netherlands (1648)
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • A-9360

Joan Blaeu (1599?–1673) was one of the most important cartographers in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century, along with his father Willem Janszoon Blaeu. He created splendid atlases and wall-hanging maps, which earned for him a high reputation. This map is a large wall hanging crafted to commemorate the conclusion of the Peace of Westphalia treaties when the Thirty Years' War (1618-48) ended. Under the title NOVA TOTIVS TERRARVM ORBIS TABVLA (new map of the entire earth), he also included a celestial map, a map of the ancient world, and a map of both hemispheres. World topographies are written in Dutch at the bottom of the map, and Katsuragawa Hoshū's Shinsei Chikyū Bankoku Zusetsu (New Illustrations of All Countries on Earth) is a Japanese translation of that. At various points on the map, paper patches can be seen with explanations written with sumi.
In Houei 5 (1708), Sidotti (1668–1715), an Italian missionary, was arrested as he smuggled himself into Japan, and Arai Hakuseki (1657-1725) interrogated him. When Hakuseki showed "The picture of all countries crafted in the Netherlands," Sidotti found it a curiosity. This is an episode in Hakuseki's Seiyō Kibun, and that picture was thought to be this map. In Meiji 11 (1878), the Department of Museums borrowed it from the Artillery Arsenal of the Army for an exhibit, and in Meiji 42 (1909), it was donated by the department. This map is considered to be very valuable not only in Japan, but internationally as well.