Artist / Author / Cartographer:

Blaeu, Johannes


Japan - Iaponia Regnum




copper engraving, original outline colour


41.5 x 56.5 cm


A fine map of Japan and Korea, published by Johannes Blaeu in Amsterdam in 1655. The map was part of the Jesuit Martin Martini’s Atlas Sinensis, the first western atlas of China. It is one of the most accurate representations of the period and is notable in being one of the earliest to show Hokkaido as an island to the north of Japan. It shows Korea as a peninsula with remarkable accuracy, being shown on all previous European outlines as an elongated island.


Martini was the Jesuit in Hangchow and collated surveys of all the regions of China which he brought back to Europe in 1654 for printing and publication. Blaeu noted in his diary: “the Reverend Father Martinus Martinius comes from India and brings with him the figurations and descriptions of the Empire of China. He insists that I print and publish these. Therefore I leave off all other things for the time being in order to push forward this work”.


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