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East Asian Cartographic Print Culture

The Late Ming Publishing Boom and its Trans-Regional Connections

Alexander Akin

318 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Alexander Akin examines how the expansion of publishing in the late Ming dynasty prompted changes in the nature and circulation of cartographic materials in East Asia. Focusing on mass-produced printed maps, East Asian Cartographic Print Culture: The Late Ming Publishing Boom and its Trans-Regional Connections investigates a series of pathbreaking late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century works in genres including geographical education, military affairs, and history, analysing how maps achieved unprecedented penetration among published materials, even in the absence of major theoretical or technological changes like those that transformed contemporary European cartography. By examining contemporaneous developments in neighboring Choson Korea and Japan, this book demonstrates the crucial importance of considering the East Asian sphere in this period as a network of communication and publication, rather than as discrete national units with separate cartographic histories. It also reexamines the Jesuit printing of maps on Ming soil within the broader context of the local cartographic publishing boom and its trans-regional repercussions.
Author Bio
Alexander Akin (Harvard University, 2009) has published a number of articles on East Asian maps and edited the English translation of The Artistry of Early Korean Cartography (Tamal Vista Publications, 2008). He co-owns Bolerium Books in San Francisco.