‘Rebus of famous places in Edo’ (Edo meisho hanjimono 江戸名所はんじもの), 1868 (Ansei 5), woodcut, colour, National Diet Library Tokyo, shelfmark: 寄別3-1-2-4, URL: https://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/1304030.

As Robert Goree indicates, ‘maps in Tokugawa Japan could be serious’ as well as ‘serious business too.’ We have seen in the tutorial that maps were important instruments of economic and political control as well as important elements of the print market, as travel culture developed in the Edo period. You have learned in this exercise that maps could be playful too, while also fulfilling didactic purposes.

If you would like to solve further Japanese rebuses, take a look at the ‘Rebus of famous places in Edo’, offered by the National Diet Library Tokyo (URL: https://www.ndl.go.jp/landmarks/quiz/). If you want to enlarge your knowledge about the ‘cartography of the imaginary’ take a look at the collection of “persuasive maps” at the Cornell University Library: https://persuasivemaps.library.cornell.edu/ .