Japan: Yasutaro Sato, 1933.
Pictorial map. Measures 43 x 31.
This incredible 1933 Japanese pictorial map of the world was drawn by Keizo Shimada and published by Yasutaro Sato. The map depicts the entire world on unusual non-Mercator projection. The Japanese Empire, on which the map is centered, is shown in red and includes modern day North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan.
Throughout, beautiful illustrations depicts the culture, people, flora, and fauna of the various countries and regions. Some of these include indigenous Indians along the Rocky Mountains, skyscrapers in New York, whale fishing in the Norwegian Sea, and other fun depictions.
The map is similar to earlier pictorial maps made by 'mangaka' artists in a similar style. This map however, also shows hints of the tense political climate of the time with battle ships in the Pacific Ocean in place of fishing boats and pleasure boats in earlier maps.
Keizo Shimada (1900 - 1973) was one of the most important Japanese mangaka or cartoon artists during the period of the Second World War. He became famous for creating 'The Adventures of Dankichi' (the story of a shipwrecked boy and his mouse, who goes on to become the chief of the Natives). Shimada also faced criticism after the World War for his depictions and justifications of Japanese aggression. This map is one of his famous works.
Yasutaro Sato (1893-1977) was and educator in Tokyo. He is known for publishing several important pictorial maps of East Asia while he worked with the Japanese Youth Club prior to the Second World War. This is a beautiful example of one such map.
The map is lined with paper with some wear along the original folds. Small losses to folds have been repaired and restored. Overall this is a scarce and impressive example of Japanese pictorial maps.