Introduction to reading Japanese maps and marketing practices 2


Section of Dai Nihon Dōchū Kōtei Saikenki 大日本道中行程細見記, [Shinsaibashiminami (Osaka): Kichimonjiya Ichibē 吉文字屋市兵衛, c. 1770s–1830s], woodcut, colour, University of Zurich, Japan Library.

Ishi-no-maki appears disconnected from the inland routes, but a black line over the sea on the map indicates that it was connected with the sea routes that transported cargo of grains and goods from North Japan to the capital. This connection was, however, unidirectional, as the currents only allowed fast ship travel from the north towards the south.   

A route from Sendai to Kinkasan implied a detour from the traditional walking roads, known as the Ōshū kaidō, that connected the northern coast of Japan with the capital. In case of travel related to business or administrative issues, it was more common to follow this in-land route that continued from Sendai to Ichi-no-seki, ending on the coast of Aomori. Look for example at the according section of the ‘Precise record of travel itineraries of Great-Japan’ (Dai Nihon Dōchū Kōtei Saikenki) a popular travel map published around the end of the 18th century. The main route traverses Sendai and connects with Ichi-no-seki (一関) leaving aside Matsushima, Shiogama and Ishi-no-maki as peripheral places.