Luis Teixeira

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    This map of Japan was first published in the 1595 edition of Abraham Orteliusí Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Ortelius had received it along with a map of China in a letter of 20 February 1592 from the Portuguese Jesuit and mathematician Luis (Lodovico) Teixeira, who was the cartographer to the court of the Spanish king. Teixeira had not been to Japan or Asia himself. He informed Ortelius in the letter which accompanied the map that he had received the map and copied it without alteration. The actual author clearly had knowledge of Japanese sources.
     The map rapidly became the model for other European cartographers. Although it does not show in the portion of the map on the stamp Teixeira omitted the island of Ezo (called Hokkaido now), and drew Korea as an island.      
     The stamp was issued to celebrate the Import Fair held in Nagoya in 1985. The use of a Portuguese map recalls the fact that the Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach Japan and begin trading with her. Most of the physical and cultural detail of the original has been omitted, but the map is a gem, nevertheless.

SCN 1644

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