On Thursday December 7, an exhibition on maps of East Asia was held at the East Asian Library. Students from EAS308 brought in their beautifully designed posters to present various research topics they have researched.
The topics that students have chosen ranged from looking at comparisons between maps of the East versus the West, specific foci on maps of a certain period in Japan, China, or Korea and how they developed, landmarks on historical maps and where they are today, ways sea routes and floras are depicted in maps, and more.
Students shared their insights into the maps and provided interesting observations about them. Here are some of their discoveries:
“Both the Japanese and American maps during the wartime are drawn as cartoons, since they were meant for kids. The Japanese map had text on it, whereas the American one does not. This is because the audience for the American one is younger than the Japanese one. It is also interesting that except for the soldier controlling navy ships from Britain, the rest of the countries in Europe are portrayed as dogs with flags wrapped around them.”
— Wartime Cartography – Children’s Edition
“This map depicts a region in China called Ning Bo. On the side we’ve made a legend which shows various symbols used by the cartographer to represent religious institutions. While the prominent religion seems to be Buddhist and Daoist, Catholic churches and Mosques were also found in the region.”
— The Map and Land of Ning Bo
“The Cheonhado portrays land as round because of the influence of Chinese Buddhist and Daoist views. With China and Korea in the middle, they saw themselves as the centre of the world. Surrounding them are the ‘mystical lands’ which include the West and all the places they have not travelled to yet. Among them are also some fictional lands.”
— Cheonhado & Kangnido: Choson’s
Relationship with the World
“From the maps you can see the expansion of Edo through the changes in the waterways across time. Although major waterways remained constant, the smaller ones were filled up in order to make more land.”
— Tokugawa Edo: Dawn to Dusk Social Control and Social Change Seen in Maps