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Explore Edo

"There is congealed in the ōezu maps of Edo a peculiar compositional mode that fades from view when we look back from the perspective of a maps of Tokyo which introduced modern surveying techniques.  At the center of the map is the white space of the shogun’s castle overlaid with the hollyhock crest of the Tokugawa around which is a mosaic of streets and daimyō residences reproduced with great precision. [...]  This cartographic vision which scarcely changed for two hundred years suggests an image of urban space as it was understood by the people of early modern Japan.  It is a series of concentric circles with the castle at the center."

    -- Maeda Ai, Toshi kūkan no naka no bungaku