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>This map is a great example for Japanese world maps representing Buddhist cosmology with real world cartography. It is the earliest one and – therefore – the prototype for Buddhist world maps.
>The map centred on ‘Jambu-Dvipa’, the mythological heart of Buddhist cosmography where Buddha was born in Northern India with the sacred lake of Anavatapta, and the four sacred rivers Ganges, Oxus, Indus, and Tarim flowing from it, the map extending from Ceylon to Siberia, and from Japan to the British Isles ‘Country of the Western Woman’, with Europe as a group of islands, Africa figured as a small island, and a land bridge connecting China with an unnamed continent to the East [?America], numerous place names, texts placed at lower left and right corners including a list of Sutras and Chinese histories, title in a banner at upper margin.
At the time being, Japan maintained an isolationist policy which began in 1603 with the Edo period under the military ruler Tokugawa Ieyasu, and lasting for nearly 270 years. Although knowing the world map by Matteo Ricci, published in Peking in 1602, Japanese maps mainly showed a purely Sino-centric view – or with acknowledgement of Buddhist traditional teaching – the Buddhist habitable world with an identifiable Indian sub-continent.
>The map was drawn by the scholar-priest Zuda Rokashi (1654-1728), or Hotan his religious name, is the founder of Kegonji Temple in Kyoto, and illustrates the fusion of existing Buddhist and poorly known European cartography.
The language is Chinese, except for a few Japanese characters on the illustrations of European countries.
[More background info on the map](http://www.swaen.com/Nansenbushu-Bankoku-Shoka-No-Zu-Buddhist-world-map.php)