Lot 153
  • 153

Japanese Astronomical chart--[Shibukawa Harumi or Shunsai]

Estimate
5,000 - 8,000 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • Tenmon Bunya no Zu, 天文分野之圖, (Map showing divisions of the heaven and regions they govern). 延宝, 丁巳, Enpô, year of the snake [1677]
  • ink on paper
xylographic printed chart on mulberry paper (1100 x 570mm.), mounted on a modern paper scroll (1650 x 610mm.), preserved in a Japanese wooden box, slight abrasion to text at head

Catalogue Note

A LARGE AND RARE ASTRONOMICAL CHART WITH AN EXTENSIVE CHINESE EXPLANATORY TEXT BY JAPAN'S MOST FAMOUS ASTRONOMER, Shibukawa Harumi or Shunsai (1639-1715).
This circular star map is based on an ancient Korean star map of 1395, but Shibukawa added his own observations and completed it 'with Chinese field allocation astrology in which the terrestrial regions were associated with 9 celestial divisions based on various groupings of lunar lodges.' The rectangular space at the left centre gives the twenty-four fortnightly periods. Shibukawa was also the author (in 1684) of the first Japanese calendar independent from the Chinese calendar. This map is reproduced in K. Miyajima, Japanese Celestial Cartography (in History of Cartography, vol. II) and M. Sugimoto and D.L. Swain, Science and Culture in Traditional Japan, p.250.
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