Anon. CH'ONHA CHIDO [Atlas of all under Heaven]
Title: CH'ONHA CHIDO [Atlas of all under Heaven]
Published in: Korea, ca. 1790
Size: 13.0 x 15.4 inches.
33.0 x 39.0 cm.
In original colours.
Condition: Manuscript atlas ( folded double leaves) : colour maps mounted on thick rice paper , sheets 33 x 39 centimeters, folded to 33 x 19,5 centimeters. Korea, late eighteenth early 19th century.
The Ch’onha chido [Atlas of all under Heaven] is a late 18th century copy of the traditional Korean atlas produced in the early Choson dynasty (1392-1910). One of the maps in the atlas, "Ch’onhado" (Map of the world), is a unique and popular China-centered world map seen in Korean perspective.
The typical contents of the traditional Korean atlases during this period consist of the following: a world map bearing the title Ch’onhado, with China, Korea, Japan and the Ryukyus at the center, surrounded by a ring of islands and other landforms that become increasingly mythological with distance from the center.
The second map depicts China and Korea, maps of the Ryukyu Islands, a map of Korea, maps of the eight provinces of Korea. The style and arrangement of the provincial maps is ultimately derivative of the Sinjung tongguk yoji sungnam, as is common for both printed and manuscript atlases of the latter Choson period.
The Ch'onhado map has very fine marginalia produced by a well educated scholar.
The map of China in this atlas prominently depicts the Great Wall and the Yellow and Yangtze rivers. This map may have been derived from a map produced during the Chinese Ming Empire (1368-1644).
Provenance : Kurokawa, Mayori, 1829-1906 (with his seal on Ch'onhado map. Famous Japanese scholar of National Learning (kokugaku) of the Meiji era and Doctor of Literature (D.Lit). Professor Emeritus at Tokyo Imperial University. Born in Kiriyu in the province of Kozuke (present-day Gunma Prefecture), he had the original lineage name Kaneko. He became interested in the study of Japanese classical poetry from an early age, and studied kokugaku in Edo, where he was adopted by Kurokawa Harumura, a proponent of Kariya Ekisai's school of kokugaku.
In 1869 he became Junior Professor of the University (daigaku shojokyo), and subsequently held a variety of government positions in the Ministry of Education (Monbusho), the Genroin (Council of Elders, a legislative body preceding the establishment of the Diet), the Imperial Household Ministry (Kunaisho) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce (Noshomusho).
In 1879 he became a professor at Tokyo Imperial University, where he remained until his retirement in 1902.
During his tenure there, he also served as an adjunct lecturer at Tokyo Normal School (Tokyo Shihan Gakko), Tokyo School of Fine Arts (Tokyo Bijutsu Gakko) and the Tokyo School of Music (Tokyo Ongaku Gakko) [the latter two of which merged to become what is today known as the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music], and the Upper Normal School (Koto Shihan Gakko). His responsibilities included editing several history textbooks including Shiryaku koan and Kokushian and assisting in the compilation of the Koji ruien (Encyclopedia of Ancient Matters).
Thereafter he was involved in managing the Imperial Museum (Teishitsu Hakubutsukan) and cataloguing the collection at the Shosoin Imperial Treasure House at Nara, devoting himself to the preservation of valuable historical artifacts. His academic specialty was primarily philology, but he also excelled in text-based research of art and architecture and was familiar with the history of ancient customs, making him a veritable encyclopedia of all aspects of kokugaku learning.
His principal writings are collected in the Kurokawa Mayori zenshu. Kurokawa died August 29, 1906, at the age of eighty-three. (Tekst by Akimoto Nobuhide).
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