116th street and Broadway
New York City, New York

Thursday, March 29th (6:00 – 7:30PM, 403 Kent Hall)

The Ragged Edge: Early Modern Cartography and the Boundaries of Japan

Lecturer: Ronald P. Toby, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Maps and cartographic discourse, particularly as part of Japan's 17th-century print revolution, were central to the production of the early modern nation. However, until the late 18th century, neither cartographers nor the state had a fixed notion of the territorial extent of "Japan." Nor did cartographers attempt to delineate the boundary between "Japan" and "not-Japan," or even to define what might constitute a "boundary." It is only in the late 18th century, when pressure from both the northeast (Russia) and southwest (Britain, etc.) generated the need for unequivocal borders that cartographers began to imagine and represent clear boundaries. This talk will engage the question of borders/boundaries by examining both verbal and visual representations of, and engagements with, the limits of Japan in early modern discourse.

Added by Fumio on March 2, 2007

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