The world through Japanese eyes

From the perspective of Japan, circa 1850, a map of the world (click to enlarge):

This is probably what happens when your only contact with the outside world (that is, your only contact not punishable by death) is a few Dutch missionaries that you force to live on a tiny island off your coast. From Strange Maps.

I am reminded of one of my favorite Japanese maps, drawn just a few decades later, showing Africa from a different perspective.

That comes from Yale Library, which has some pretty incredible Africa historical maps.

Other antique Japanese maps (not necessarily of Africa) are here. I particularly like this one:

It takes a minute to get oriented.

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