The Digital On Edo ezu
A Digital Project by Prof. Michael Kinski and the Arts Research Center of the Ritsumeikan University.
Technical Advisors: Leo Born and Koray Birenheide
The Digital On Edo ezu 御江戸絵図 was a research project involving the On Edo ezu of the ARC digital archives. Bachelor and master students of the Goethe University Japanology were to locate an assorted set of famous places on the map and attach brief articles and woodblockprints created by Utagawa Hiroshige from the ARC digital archives to these points on the map using DemiScript software. Beginning in 2017, DemiScript was developed under the auspices of Prof. Kinski to facilitate the transcription and annotation of Edo period woodblock prints with digitally enhanced methods.
About the On Edo ezu
The On Edo ezu 御江戸絵図 or Honorable Illustrated Map of Edo (revised edition of the Tenpô era, 1831 to 1845) bears the following explanation on its left or – “southern” – fringe:
This Honorable Illustrated Map of Edo was newly made, and although it is a conventional map we have dared to minutely correct it – this concerns the honorable [lordly] mansions districts, the ward names and [other] area names of course, and goes as far as the shrines, Buddhist temples, the famous locations and historical sites; and we printed it on the present occasion by adjusting the presentation on a scale where one bu [c. three cm] equals thirty five ken [c. 64 m]. Although [we] endeavor to take stock [of changes] on a daily basis and adjust [the map] monthly, by chance discrepancies might occur. Therefore, [we] would like to kindly prevail [on you] to let the publisher know [about these]. [We] then speedily will bestir [ourselves] to recarve the names.
The On Edo ezu project used this map as a foundation to localize the famous places and scenic spots shown on a number of colored woodblock prints by Utagawa Hiroshige at nearly the same time. All of the sites chosen by Hiroshige could be identified on the map, and it is easy to imagine that the Edo period user of this map might have consulted it to find his way to these places.
It is of further interest that most of the places highlighted by the artist could be found – roughly speaking – on the fringes of the central area of Edo with a majority of them on the eastern side along the Sumida river and near to the residential districts of common townspeople rather than members of the samurai strata.
Descriptions for these sites and accompanying woodblock prints can be found by clicking on them. A slider on the right will then open and offer specific information on the locations themselves, their history up to the present as well as on Hiroshige’s depiction of them. For use of this resource refer to the guidelines below.
About Utagawa Hiroshige
Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川広重 was born Andō Hiroshige 安藤広重 in 1797. He is considered one of the most eminent ukiyo-e 浮世絵 (woodblock print) artists of Japan. We chose two series of prints for our project, Shinsen Edo meisho 新撰江戸名所 ("Newly compiled Famous Spots of Edo", 1840) and and Edo meisho 江戸名所 ("Famous Spots of Edo", around 1850), due to their spatial and temporal overlap with our main map, the On Edo ezu 御江戸絵図 (Honorable Map of Edo, 1830–43). As their titles suggest, the series depict famous spots of Edo and provide contemporary views on a variety of places in Edo. We hypothesize that their depictions likely served to inform the visual experience of Edo citizens when interacting with contemporary maps, making the (colored) woodblock prints a viable contender of a resource to be integrated with the digitized map.
|White Overlay Slider:
|Map Rotation Slider:
How to Use
Welcome to DemiScript!
You have the following options available to you when browsing the interactive On Edo ezu:
- The center left area is the interactive map.
- The center right area is the article and image document area.
- Located above the map are the overlay and rotation sliders.
- Located below the map is the map key.
- When hovering over the map, a navigation bar appears on the top left.
- When hovering over the map, a small full view appears on the top right.
- Clicking on the map, pressing the "+" key, or clicking on the plus sign on the navigation bar will zoom into an area.
- Pressing the "-" key, or clicking the minus sign on the navigation bar will zoom out again.
- The "+" and "-" keys can be held down to continually zoom in or out.
- The mouse wheel can also be used to zoom in or out.
- Clicking and holding the left mouse button down allows the dragging around of the map.
- Using the arrow keys likewise moves the map around.
- Clicking on the rotation buttons in the navigation bar will rotate the map 90°.
- Clicking the home icon in the navigation bar will return the zoom level to default.
- Clicking the full-screen icon in the navigation bar will open the map in full-screen mode.
- Moving the overlay slider above the map to the left will make the overlay between map and map objects more transparent and hide all objects when set to 0.
- Moving the rotation slider above the map will rotate the map freely.
- Famous locations have been marked on the map with colored polygons.
- Clicking on a polygon will replace this view with zoomable woodblock print images of the location as well as descriptive articles.
- Zoomable images in the article and image document area use the same controls as the map.
- Horizontal viewing is recommended but not strictly necessary.
- Gestures can be used to navigate the map and zoomable images.
- Touching locations will open articles and image documents.
- Touching the map or zoomable images with two fingers and then pinching them together or moving them apart will change the zoom level
- Color Key:
- █ Religious site
- █ Park, garden, mountain, or hill
- █ River or river bank
- █ Bridge
- █ Entertainment district
- █ City ward
- █ Other